Year of Publication

2015

College

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Executive Summary

In 2004, over 27 million Americans voted prior to Election Day through early voting policies that exist in the United States. One of the most discussed questions is whether early voting has an effect on voter turnout.

In this analysis, I will review the voter turnout of states during the 2008 and 2010 election years. By executing this analysis, I hope to determine if these policies affect voter turnout. The implications of this analysis are useful for informing state decisions regarding voting procedures and can assist the other states in determining if these polices, and similar methods in the future, are making voting more convenient, thus increasing voter turnout.

The analysis finds that certain policies influence voter turnout for the 2008 election year,. The analysis demonstrate s that states classified with “early voting” policies has a negative statistically significant impact on voter participation in the election. After running the 2008 data, I run the same analysis on data for the 2010 election. For the 2010 election year, the analysis found that policies influenced voter turnout. The analysis demonstrated classification of “ early voting” policies have a negative statistical significant impact on the voter participation in the election. However, “voting by mail” has a positive statistical impact on voter turnout.

Overall, this study utilized state early voting policy and voter turnout data to determine that there is both a positive and negative statically significant relationship between the type of early voting method policy and voter participation. These findings can assist states in future decisions regarding early voting policy reform.

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