Daniel A. Smith, professor and chair, department of political science at the University of Florida, will present a talk about the effects of on-campus early in-person voting on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 4:00 p.m. in 302 Pond Lab.
Might additional opportunities to cast a ballot increase the probability that an individual turns out to vote? Might the added convenience of in-person early voting shift the method or timing of when a registrant casts a ballot? Scholars disagree over whether or not 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 in Florida in the 2018 General Election lowered the barriers of casting a ballot, thereby increasing the turnout of young registrants in the counties that adopted the policy. Drawing on individual-level election administration data and offering a series of models (difference-in-differences (DD), difference-in-differences-in-differences (DDD), and matching combined with difference-in-differences), we estimate the effect of the expansion of early in-person voting on eight campuses in Florida. We find consistent evidence that the adoption of on-campus early voting not only made it more likely that young registrants turned out to vote, but that it also shifted the timing of when these typically low propensity voters cast their ballot.
Daniel A. Smith is Professor and Chair of Political Science at the University of Florida. He is the President of ElectionSmith, Inc., and the past Chair of the State Politics and Policy Section of the American Political Science Association. He holds a PhD (1994) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and BAs in Political Science and History from Penn State University (1988). Dr. Smith’s research broadly examines how political institutions affect political behavior across and within the American states. In addition to publishing nearly 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, his authored and coauthored books include Tax Crusaders and the Politics of Direct Democracy (Routledge, 1998), Educated by Initiative (University of Michigan Press, 2004), and State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform (4th edition, Cengage, 2015).