Friday, February 29, 2008

Early Voting in Texas

Paul Gronke, our friend and colleague at Reed College who is a frequent contributor to the Election Updates blog, has been keeping track of early voting turnout in Texas. Here is a figure he posted yesterday showing how many more Democrats are voting early in the 2008 primary compared to 2004:

Gronke and other political scientists (including Adam Berinsky and Michael Traugott) have consistently found that convenience voting reforms like early voting do little on their own to increase turnout. But as we can see in Texas (and as Gronke points out in his post) the competitiveness of the Democratic primary in Texas - which leads to TV ads, candidate visits, surrogate speeches, telephone calls and mail - is probably what is driving turnout in this election.

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