The Relationship between In-Person Voting and COVID-19: Evidence from the Wisconsin Primary
On April 7, 2020, Wisconsin held its presidential primary election, and news reports showed long lines of voters due to fewer polling locations. We use county-level variation in voting patterns and weekly county-level COVID test data to examine whether in-person voting increased COVID-19 cases. We ﬁnd a statistically signiﬁcant association between in-person voting density and the spread of COVID-19 two to three weeks after the election. In our main results, a 10% increase in in-person voters per polling location is associated with an 18.4% increase in the COVID-19 positive test rate two to three weeks later.
The authors wish to thank Dhaval Dave, Thomas Fujiwara, Mustafa Hussein, Catherine Maclean, John Mullahy, Nathan Teﬀt, and Dave Vaness for helpful comments, and Safegraph for providing access to their data. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Chad Cotti & Bryan Engelhardt & Joshua Foster & Erik Nesson & Paul Niekamp, 2021. "The relationship between voting and ‐19: Evidence from the Wisconsin primary," Contemporary Economic Policy, vol 39(4), pages 760-777. citation courtesy of