Policy-makers disagree on the merits of mandatory vote-by-mail. 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), researchers used 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. Their 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.
The participatory and partisan impacts of mandatory vote-by-mail