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