NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Paul S. Niekamp

Department of Economics
Ball State University

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Ball State University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2020The Relationship between In-Person Voting and COVID-19: Evidence from the Wisconsin Primary
with Chad D. Cotti, Bryan Engelhardt, Joshua Foster, Erik T. Nesson: w27187
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.
 
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