- Published on March 5, the paper examines how absentee voting affected the 2020 US election.
- It concludes that Democrats were equally less likely to vote early in-person or on election day.
- The study adds that there were already high levels of motivation to participate and mail-in ballots did not lead to a voting increase.
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Mail-in ballots did not help Democrats or lead to a voting increase during the election, according to a new Stanford University study.
Published on March 5, the paper examines how absentee voting affected the 2020 US election by studying turnout rates in Texas, a state which decided not to ease its mail-in voting system process despite many others choosing to do so because of the pandemic.
While Texan voters aged 65 or over could automatically vote by mail, younger people had to provide a legally justifiable reason to be able to do such as having a disability, the Associated Press reported.
Both age groups had identical voting rates with only 0.2% more Democrats in the older one, showing that mail-in ballots did not in fact increase the Democrats’ share of the vote, AP added.
While Democrats were more likely to vote by mail than Republicans in 2020, it didn’t actually help win the election because they were equally less likely to vote early in-person or on election day, the study found.
It also revealed that there was a slightly higher turnout rate among 65-year-olds compared to 64-year-olds in 2014 and 2018, suggesting that absentee voting increases turnout in lower interest elections.
The study concludes that making it easier to vote through mail-in ballots did not increase voting levels because there were already high levels of motivation to participate in the 2020 election.
Jesse Yoder, one of the paper’s eight authors and a PhD student in political science at Stanford University told AP: “We find a pretty precisely zero effect on turnout. Voter interest was really driving turnout more than these convenience voting forms.”
Republicans have baselessly maintained that the expansion of mail ballot votes was a major reason why Donald Trump lost the election and have legally challenged various states on their decision to do so.