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Finding the Time and Place to Vote

  • Martha E. Kropf
Part of the Elections, Voting, Technology book series (EVT)

Abstract

Early voting—or allowing voters to vote in person before Election Day—has been allowed formally at least since 1988.1 The idea behind early voting was that if voting times were more convenient, it would reduce the opportunity costs of voting. In other words, potential voters would not have to take off work (or give up other activities) in order to vote. If one examines newspapers covering the policy discussions, one can see that the goal of early voting was to increase voter turnout, not necessarily to relieve the pressure of long lines on Election Day, but it did not hurt that early voting might relieve long lines. For example, in North Carolina in January 1996 (about four years before North Carolina began to implement its one-stop voting— North Carolina’s name for early voting), one can see that no-excuse early voting was one of many proposals being considered to “cure voter apathy” and “boost turnout at the polls.”2 There was bipartisan excitement by the year 2000. Political reporter Jim Morrill quoted the Mecklenburg County Republican Party Chair Frank Whitney as saying: “Voter turnout always determines an election, not the polls … I have a feeling (early voting) will increase overall voter turnout.”3

Keywords

Voter Turnout Polling Place Electoral Institution Potential Voter Vote Center 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 7.
    Fortier, John C. 2006. Absentee and Early Voting. Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute.Google Scholar
  2. 13.
    Oliver, J. Eric. 1996. “Absentee Voting and Overall Turnout.” American Journal of Political Science 40(2): 498–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 15.
    Hamilton, Randy H. 1988. “American All-Mail Balloting: A Decade’s Experience.” Public Administration Review 48(5): 860–866.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 16.
    Kousser, Thad and Megan Mullin. 2007. “Does Voting by Mail Increase Participation? Using Matching to Analyze a Natural Experiment.” Political Analysis 15: 428–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 17.
    Another recent study leverages the idea that the state of Washington staggered its introduction of VBM. See Gerber, Alan S., Gregory A. Huber, and Seth J. Hill. 2013. “Identifying the Effect of All-Mail Elections on Turnout: Staggered Reform in the Evergreen State.” Political Science Research and Methods 1(1): 91–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 22.
    Kropf, Martha. 2013. “North Carolina Election Reform Te n Years After the Help America Vote Act.” Election Law Journal 12(2): 179–189. Note that half of the counties in North Carolina were covered jurisdictions under the Voting Rights Act. See Chapter 4.Google Scholar
  7. 39.
    Barreto, Matt, Mara Cohen-Marks, and Nathan D. Woods. 2009. “Are All Precincts Created Equal? The Prevalence of Low-Quality Precincts in Low-Income and Minority Communities.” Political Research Quarterly 62(3): 445–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 44.
    For a discussion, see Kropf, Martha and David C. Kimball. 2012. Helping America Vote: The Limits of Election Reform, New York: Routledge, Chapter 4.Google Scholar
  9. 45.
    Brady, Henry E. and John E. McNulty. 2011. “Turning Out to Vote: The Costs of Finding and Getting to the Polling Place.” American Political Science Review 105(1): 115–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 46.
    Stein, Robert M. and Greg Vonnahme. 2012. “Effect of Election Day Vote Centers on Voters Participation.” Election Law Journal 11(3): 291–301.Google Scholar
  11. 47.
    Stein, Robert M. and Greg Vonnahme. 2008. “Engaging the Unengaged Voter: Vote Centers and Voter Turnout.” Journal of Politics 70: 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martha E. Kropf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA

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