This work provides a general framework for analysis of issue voting across democratic polities. Unlike current frameworks of analysis for issue voting, I argue that voters are concerned not only with party positions, but also with policy outcomes. This simple principle carries implications for voter choice under various institutional environments. In consensual parliamentary systems, taking into consideration the bargaining built into policy formation process in the parliament, voters often endorse parties whose positions differ from their own views. In presidential elections, incorporating the compromise between the president and the legislature into their decision making, voters adjust their vote, balancing the two institutions against one another. Finally, in federal systems, voters engage in vertical balancing, utilizing state elections to balance the federal government. I illustrate the latter implication analyzing election returns from Germany between 1965 and 2002.