Does Distance Matter? Evaluating the Impact of Drop Boxes on Voter Turnout
Objective This article examines the impact that reducing the distance to a voter's nearest ballot drop box has on turnout.
Methods The placement of five new ballot drop boxes was randomized among six potential sites identified based on similar criteria. The randomization of the five boxes across the six sites created natural Treatment (those sites that received a new box) and Placebo (the site that did not receive a new box) groups. We then employed a difference-in-difference design to determine whether voters in the Treatment group were more likely to vote in the 2017 general election compared to those in the Placebo group.
Results We find that a decrease of one mile to the nearest drop box increased the probability of voting by 0.64 percent.
Conclusion Our finding indicates that drop boxes have a positive effect on voter turnout and that decreasing the distance to these boxes can lead to an increased likelihood of voting.
Social Science Quarterly
Open Access Status
McGuire, W., O’Brien, B. G., Baird, K., Corbett, B., & Collingwood, L. (2020). Does Distance Matter? Evaluating the Impact of Drop Boxes on Voter Turnout. Social Science Quarterly, 101(5), 1789–1809. https://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12853