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 July 25, 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
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