The Relationship between In-Person Voting and Covid-19: Evidence from the Wisconsin Primary
35 Pages Posted: 18 May 2020 Last revised: 15 Apr 2021
Date Written: May 2020
On April 7, 2020, Wisconsin held its presidential primary election, and news reports showed long lines of voters due to fewer polling locations. We use county-level variation in voting patterns and weekly county-level COVID test data to examine whether in-person voting increased COVID-19 cases. We find a statistically significant association between in-person voting density and the spread of COVID-19 two to three weeks after the election. In our main results, a 10% increase in in-person voters per polling location is associated with an 18.4% increase in the COVID-19 positive test rate two to three weeks later.
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