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Electoral Studies

Does Election Day Weather Affect Voter Turnout? Evidence from Swedish Elections

Scientific Article in English
Reference
Persson, Mikael, Anders Sundell and Richard Öhrvall (2014). “Does Election Day Weather Affect Voter Turnout? Evidence from Swedish Elections”. Electoral Studies 33, 335–342. doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2013.07.021

Authors
Mikael Persson, Anders Sundell, Richard Öhrvall

Does rainfall during the Election Day reduce voter turnout? Previous research shows that in the US one inch of rain reduces turnout with about one percentage point. We turn to the Swedish context in order to test whether rainfall on Election Day have the same impact in a high turnout context. We move beyond previous research by testing the impact of GISinterpolated rainfall on three different datasets that allows us to view the issue both from a wide time frame as well as with high precision as for turnout measures: (a) aggregate turnout data for Sweden’s 290 municipalities, (b) individual level data from the Swedish National Election Study and (c) data from a register-based survey on voter turnout. In none of the three datasets do we find robust negative effects of rain.