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Research: Trump is Wrong on Vote-by-Mail; It Increases Turn-out but Doesn't Favor Either Party

President Trump has suggested that vote-by-mail initiatives being implemented by many states to protect the health of voters will help Democrats more than Republicans and lead to widespread fraud. He and his campaign have sued to stop the practice and recently tried to undermine the US Postal Service to make it difficult for the states to implement such strategies. However, as we have documented before, there is no evidence to support the President's claims about voter fraud and the research on vote-by-mail systems hasn't demonstrated a partisan advantage.

A new study published this week by the American Association for the Advancement of Science has substantiated earlier research in finding that mail-in voting doesn't favor either party, but it does increase turn-out rates. "Recently, mandatory vote-by-mail has received a great deal of attention as a means of administering elections in the United States. However, policy-makers disagree on the merits of this approach. Many of these debates hinge on whether mandatory vote-by-mail advantages one political party over the other. Using a unique pairing of historical county-level data that covers the past three decades and more than 40 million voting records from the two states that have conducted a staggered rollout of mandatory vote-by-mail (Washington and Utah), we use several methods for causal inference to show that mandatory vote-by-mail slightly increases voter turnout but has no effect on election outcomes at various levels of government. Our results find meaning given contemporary debates about the merits of mandatory vote-by-mail. Mandatory vote-by-mail ensures that citizens are given a safe means of casting their ballot while simultaneously not advantaging one political party over the other."

#2020election #research

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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