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Rain/Snow in Dallas: Will it Affect Sudanese Voter Turnout?

9 January 2011

It’s raining cats and dogs in Dallas right now, 1.5 hours before the polls open. It’s forecasted to rain (if not snow) all day today. I’m curious if the weather will affect Sudanese voter turnout at the Dallas referendum center.

Why rain matters for elections, from a recent article (gated) in the Journal of Politics:

The relationship between bad weather and lower levels of voter turnout is widely espoused by media, political practitioners, and, perhaps, even political scientists. Yet, there is virtually no solid empirical evidence linking weather to voter participation. This paper provides an extensive test of the claim. We examine the effect of weather on voter turnout in 14 U.S. presidential elections. Using GIS interpolations, we employ meteorological data drawn from over 22,000 U.S. weather stations to provide election day estimates of rain and snow for each U.S. county. We find that, when compared to normal conditions, rain significantly reduces voter participation by a rate of just less than 1% per inch, while an inch of snowfall decreases turnout by almost .5%. Poor weather is also shown to benefit the Republican party’s vote share. Indeed, the weather may have contributed to two Electoral College outcomes, the 1960 and 2000 presidential elections.

Long lines and the hot sun haven’t detracted voters in Sudan, so we’ll see how their Dallas counterparts respond to the weather.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 9 January 2011 2:47 pm

    If the weather has depressed turnout, it hasn’t left the poll workers idle. I’m told there were 1,083 voters registered to cast ballots in Dallas. Not sure how many of those have come through, but folks have definitely been working to capacity.

  2. 9 January 2011 2:59 pm

    Are there numbers on total votes in the US that you know of?

  3. 9 January 2011 3:23 pm

    Cam – Here are the number of registered voters in Canada and the US (from a map supplied me by the Operations Officer here in Dallas). Map footnote is that it was made by the International Organization for Migration.

    Toronto: 921
    Calgary: 1373
    Canada TOTAL: 2294

    Washington DC: 883
    Phoenix: 904
    Omaha: 3,221
    Dallas: 1,083
    Seattle: 571
    Nashville: 916
    Boston: 815
    Chicago: 399
    USA TOTAL: 8792

  4. 9 January 2011 3:25 pm

    And, as of a few minutes ago, the tally of voters who cast ballots in Dallas was over 500 (with more waiting to vote).


  1. Southern Sudan Referendum 2011: Day 1 in Dallas « haba na haba

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