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Political Behavior

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 133–156 | Cite as

Reprecincting and Voting Behavior

  • Brian Amos
  • Daniel A. SmithEmail author
  • Casey Ste. Claire
Original Paper

Abstract

Despite the expansion of convenience voting across the American states, millions of voters continue to cast ballots at their local precincts on Election Day. We argue that those registered voters who are reassigned to a different Election Day polling place prior to an election are less likely to turn out to vote than those assigned to vote at the same precinct location, as a new precinct location incurs both search and transportation costs on reassigned voters. Utilizing voter file data and precinct shape files from Manatee County, Florida, from before and after the 2014 General Election, we demonstrate that the redrawing of precinct boundaries and the designation of Election Day polling places is not a purely technical matter for local election administrators, but may affect voter turnout of some registered voters more than others. Controlling for a host of demographic, partisan, vote history, and geospatial factors, we find significantly lower turnout among registered voters who were reassigned to a new Election Day precinct compared to those who were not, an effect not equally offset by those voters turning to other available modes of voting (either early in-person or absentee). All else equal, we find that registered Hispanic voters were significantly more likely to abstain from voting as a result of being reassigned than any other racial group.

Keywords

Voter turnout Precincts Gerrymandering Elections Florida Election Administration 

Supplementary material

11109_2016_9350_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 21 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Amos
    • 1
  • Daniel A. Smith
    • 1
    Email author
  • Casey Ste. Claire
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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