Early, Absentee, and Mail‐in Voting

Robert M. Stein and Greg Vonnahme

in The Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199235476
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

 Early, Absentee, and Mail‐in Voting

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This article describes what is known and what is not known about voting early. It specifically refers to absentee voting, mail-in voting, and in-person early voting generally as ‘early voting’. Moreover, it determines what is believed to be a fruitful research agenda on early voting, as well as the methodological challenges that scholars will likely confront. A brief history of early voting is first presented. The turnout effect of early voting is wasted on early voters but has a significant and positive effect on the likelihood that infrequent voters will ballot on election day. It is shown that parties and candidates have an important role in catalyzing the effects of election reforms. The convenience and accessibility of a voter's election-day voting place is a significant incentive to voting. Future research on election reforms might pick up from more basic research on models of voter turnout.

Keywords: absentee voting; mail-in voting; early voting; voter turnout; election reforms

Article.  7679 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Behaviour

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