Voting from Home: Absentee Voting in the 2012 Presidential Election

30 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2013

See all articles by Claire M. Smith

Claire M. Smith

Overseas Vote Foundation

Judith Murray

Overseas Vote Foundation

Date Written: 2013


Whether a domestic voter who cannot go to her polling place because of work or military personnel stationed abroad, absentee voting within the United States is on the rise. In order to facilitate these growing numbers, some states have made it easier for absentee voters to participate. For example, 27 states have implemented “no excuse” absentee voting, and 23 states allowed overseas voters to return voted ballots electronically. Although these policies are intended to make absentee voting easier, are they successful? Are more citizens able to vote? Is there a difference in the voting experience of domestic absentee voters versus overseas voters? We adapt the variables used in traditional voter studies to create hypotheses about the impact of public policy and the absentee voting process. We use data from the Overseas Vote Foundation 2012 Post-Election Voter Survey and U.S. Vote Foundation 2012 Post Election Voter surveys, as well as balloting statistics from the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to test the hypotheses. Differences in domestic and overseas absentee balloting are considered and, based on these results, recommendations to improve the administration of both domestic and overseas and military absentee balloting are presented.

Keywords: absentee, voting, elections

Suggested Citation

Smith, Claire M. and Murray, Judith, Voting from Home: Absentee Voting in the 2012 Presidential Election (2013). APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper, American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting, Available at SSRN:

Claire M. Smith (Contact Author)

Overseas Vote Foundation ( email )

4786 N. Williamsburg Blvd
Arlington, VA 22207-2836
United States


Judith Murray

Overseas Vote Foundation ( email )

No Address Available

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