Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Convenient election day voting centers can improve voter turnout

Date:
November 7, 2011
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
The convenience of election day voting centers can increase voter turnout, according to a new article.

The convenience of Election Day voting centers can increase voter turnout, according to a new paper by political scientists Robert Stein of Rice University and Greg Vonnahme of the University of Alabama.

"Voting at Non-Precinct Polling Places: A Review and Research Agenda" appears in the latest issue of the Election Law Journal. The paper is an analysis of existing research on voter identification and nonprecinct voting, two subjects that have generated considerable debate in the media and between political parties.

While suggestions of widespread voter fraud and the impact of various voting laws and reforms may be overstated, the positive impact of voting centers is not, said Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science at Rice. Of all the election laws, reforms and voting methods, Election Day voting centers are the only system that has had an appreciable effect on voter turnout.

"Over the last 3-5 years, research has revealed that implementation of voting centers has led to up to a 10 percent increase in not only voter turnout, but turnout of people who wouldn't normally vote," Stein said.

Stein compared voting to shopping, saying that most store owners try to make the shopping experience easy for customers. Thanks to their size and accessibility, voting centers have the same positive impact on voting, he said.

"In dozens of states, we've found that if voters have an opportunity to vote at a location that's more central to where they conduct their daily business, they're more likely to vote," Stein said. "Voting is not unlike any other type of retail sale. Customers don't want to spend a lot of extra time looking for a place to shop, a parking space or a manager. The same is true for voters, particularly those who are as undecided about who to vote for as they are to vote."

According to Stein, voting centers work best in low-density urban areas, rather than cities with large walking populations, and are most appealing to voters who are less likely to vote due to hectic schedules.

"It may sound demeaning or undemocratic, but the simple fact of the matter is that for most Americans, voting is not a high-priority activity," he said. "When we have elections, people require convenience."

Stein hopes that the paper will encourage more awareness and research of nonprecinct voting in an effort to help citizens and their representatives make informed and intelligent choices about the mode of election administration they want to adopt.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert M. Stein and Greg Vonnahme. Voting at Non-Precinct Polling Places: A Review and Research Agenda. Election Law Journal, Volume 10, Number 3, 2011 DOI: 10.1089/elj.2011.1036

Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Convenient election day voting centers can improve voter turnout." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111031132211.htm>.
Rice University. (2011, November 7). Convenient election day voting centers can improve voter turnout. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111031132211.htm
Rice University. "Convenient election day voting centers can improve voter turnout." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111031132211.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins