Mobilizing the Youth Vote? Early Voting on College Campuses
Might additional opportunities to cast a ballot prior to Election Day increase the probability that an individual turns out to vote? More narrowly, does convenience voting have differential effects, altering the method of how some registrants cast their ballot? Scholars disagree as to whether convenience voting bolsters turnout, or even if it alters the method of voting. We argue that the targeted adoption of early in-person voting on the campuses of public colleges and universities lowers the barriers of casting a ballot, increasing the turnout of young registrants. Drawing on individual-level election administration data from Florida in the 2018 general election, we offer a series of models (differences-in-differences (DD), differences-in-differences-in-differences (DDD), and matching combined with differences-in-differences) to estimate the effect of the expansion of early in-person voting on eight public campuses. Although we find uneven effects of the policy reform on overall turnout, we find consistent evidence that the adoption of on-campus early voting not only made it more likely that young registrants exposed to the policy turned out to vote, but that it also shifted the timing of when these young voters cast a ballot.
Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Shino, E., Smith, D.A. (2020) Mobilizing the Youth Vote? Early Voting on College Campuses. Election Law Journal: Rules, Politics, and Policy, 19(4), 524-541.