Voting Early but Not Often

  • Stein R
  • García-Monet P
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Abstract

Objective. This article examines the correlates of early voting and its effect on voter turnout and electoral support for candidates. Methods. Aggregate data for early and election day balloting in Texas counties (N = 254) are analyzed for the 1992 presidential election. Additional data on the implementation of early voting in Texas counties were collected through a mail questionnaire sent to Texas county election clerks. Results. Early voting is strongly influenced by new voter registration, wealth, and the proportion of the population that is Hispanic. The location of early voting sites at socially familiar and frequented venues has a positive effect on the incidence of early voting, independent of the number of total early voting sites available in the county. The partisan mobilization of new voters through voter registration and early voting had a significant and positive effect on balloting for the Democratic presidential candidate in 1992. Conclusions. Unlike with previous electoral reforms (e.g., motor-voter registration), there is evidence to support a partisan impact from early voting in the 1992 Texas presidential election. This effect, however, was mediated by the campaign activities of parties and their candidates.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Texas
  • convenience
  • early voting
  • in person
  • parti

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Authors

  • Robert M. Stein

  • Patricia a García-Monet

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