Objective. Early voting has been suggested as one method of increasing voter turnout. Allowing voters to cast their ballots during a longer time period may ameliorate some barriers to participation that exist. However, the question of whether early voting mobilizes previous nonvoting registrants or simply makes voting easier for those who would have participated anyway remains largely unanswered. Methods. We test these questions through the use of an individual level survey of voters in one Tennessee county. Using logistic regression, we consider the impact of demographic and attitudinal factors on the propensity to vote on election day or to use early voting. Results. We find marked differences between nonvoters and voters of either type, but we find few significant differences between early voters and traditional voters. We find little support for a mobilization effect and some evidence suggests that early voting merely conveniences those who would have voted anyway.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science