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Early Voting Patterns by Race in Cuyahoga County, Ohio: A Statistical Analysis of the 2008 General Election

October 31, 2012 | Download

Early Voting Patterns by Race in Cuyahoga County, Ohio: A Statistical Analysis of the 2008 General Election

Several state legislatures recently have passed laws to scale back their early voting operations. Such efforts have been criticized by civil rights advocates and others who contend that minorities have utilized various forms of early voting at higher rates than whites, and that early voting reductions will tend to discourage minority electoral participation. This research brief on Cuyahoga County, Ohio estimates racial group usage of the two types of early voting methods that were available in the 2008 Presidential Election: absentee by mail, and absentee in person. Ecological inference models demonstrate that white voters utilized the former method with a greater propensity than African Americans, but African Americans voted early in person at substantially higher rates than white voters. The results therefore provide an empirical basis to conclude that reducing early in person voting will disproportionately affect African American voters in Cuyahoga County.

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