Public officials can be reluctant to use citizens’ input in decision‐making, especially when turnout is low and participants are unrepresentative of the wider population. Using Fritz Scharpf’s democratic legitimacy approach, we conducted a vignette experiment. The study shows that turnout and participants’ representativeness have a positive and significant effect on public officials’ attitudes toward public participation. Specifically, participants’ representativeness influences public officials’ willingness to use citizens’ inputs more than turnout. Full paper on the Public Administration Review website.