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Souls to the Polls: Early Voting in Florida in the Shadow of House Bill 1355

April 2012

Michael C. Herron, Daniel A. Smith


This study analyzes the potential effects of tightening restrictions on early in-person voting. They find that in Florida, Democrats, minorities, and young first time voters are disproportionately likely to participate in early voting. Specifically, Democrats comprised 42% of registered voters in Florida in 2008, yet accounted for 52% of early voting ballots. Similarly, Blacks made up 13% of Florida’s electorate, yet accounted for 22% of early votes.

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Policy Implications

This study provides evidence for the assertion that restricting early voting disproportionality affects Democrats, minorities, and young voters. Specifically, the results suggest that restrictions to early in-person voting on Sundays would most disproportionately harm Democratic voters.

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