The Turnout Effects of All-Mail Election Systems in Upballot and Downballot Races in Utah 2016

This research finds that, in addition to higher overall turnout, down-ballot turnout was higher in Vote At Home optional precincts than in polling place only precincts, even after controlling for other differences. Overall, this research indicates that Vote At Home is a boon to civic participation at all levels of the ballot when measuring by the important metric of raw vote totals.

Catalist Report 2018 Absentee by State by Age

Catalist and NVAHI have discussed the 2018 absentee and early vote totals and the impact of age. Below, we present the absentee and early vote (AVEV) distribution within the AVEV states in 2018, by age. The AVEV vote does not necessarily represent the general election electorate in each state – states vary in their adoption, and the regulations governing who can legally vote early or absentee – but in many states the AVEV vote represents a significant portion of the total 2018 vote.

2018 Primary Turnout Graph

This graph displays turnout by state in the 2018 primaries, in map form. Data from the Bipartisan Policy Center

How Electoral Institutions Affect Political Accountability

This research finds that expansion of vote at home systems increases turnout and reduces ballot roll-off.

Abstract: “A central question in the study of democratic governance concerns the conditions under which voters make informed choices at the ballot box. I exploit the staggered implementation of an electoral reform in a U.S. state to study the effects of electoral institutions on voter information and political accountability. I find that [vote at home] elections cause an increase in turnout in municipal elections and a decrease in ballot roll-off on statewide ballot measures in presidential election years in some counties, which is largely consistent with my argument that voters gather more information about politics when voting by mail. Further, there is strong evidence that vote-by-mail results in a decrease in taxing and spending in municipalities. The institution has less conclusive effects on municipal accountability audit outcomes. Using data from the Catalist voter file I show that these results cannot be explained by changes in the composition of the electorate caused by vote-by-mail.”

Mail Ballot Return Choices

This purpose of this report is to share research done by the National Vote at Home Institute (NVAHI) during the summer of 2018 into how true “Vote at Home” (VAH) jurisdictions operate when it comes to managing and driving voter behavior across the three major ballot return methodologies.