“Change in Florida voting law is felt at polls”

Herald Tribune: “Changes in the state election law may have reduced the number of Florida voters who participated in early voting this year by an estimated 300,000 votes. That reduction in early voting — from about 2.7 million voters in 2008 to 2.4 million this year — could have consequences in a tight race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the nation’s largest swing state.”

This whole article is worth a read.  Absentee balloting is up.  It will be hard to tell whether overall decline in Democratic vote in 2012 compared to 2008 is caused (solely) by Florida voting changes as opposed to other factors, such as differences in the level of enthusiasm of Florida voters.

This will be one of the most important empirical questions to disentangle after the election.  I’ve been working on the assumption that these voting changes mostly matter on the margin–so in a tight race they would matter, but in a big blowout they would not—but others have suggested some larger effects.

 

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