Lost in the Mail? Vote be Mail and Voter Confidence
54 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2020
Date Written: January 17, 2020
Recently, the use of vote-by-mail has been increasing in popularity, with Washington, Colorado, and Hawaii moving exclusively to mail-based election systems. While election reformers tout the various benefits of this change, what impact does mail voting have on voter confidence? I seek to answer this by by leveraging the implementation of postal voting in Washington and Colorado through the use of the Survey of the Performance of American Elections (SPAE) dataset, along with difference-in-differences design, genetic matching, Mahalanobis distance matching, and ordinal logistic regression analysis. In doing so, I demonstrate that the implementation of vote by mail causes a significant decrease in voter confidence in both states. However, this decrease appears to be temporary, disappearing after only single election cycle. These results shed light on the potential impact of recent expansions of convenience voting in the United States, while also furthering the debate around perceptions of electoral integrity in democratic systems.
Keywords: voter condence, elections, electoral integrity, voting, reform
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