Does bad weather affect voter turnout? - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Does bad weather affect voter turnout?

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

We all woke up Tuesday morning to see snow on the ground – creating some slick roads. So slick in fact, the Billings Police Department declared the first slick street policy of the season.
 
We went to the polls at MetraPark in Billings Tuesday morning to see if the icy weather conditions had affected voters. We heard about multiple crashes all around town, but it didn't seem like its kept voters away from the polls.

"It's just been, as you can see, a steady stream of people. We opened the polls at seven, and it's just been keeping us running ever since," election official Kevin Gillen said. 

Gillen has been working elections for the past 16 years. He says the turnout this Election Day surprised him. 

"Well you know considering the weather and the absentee ballots that went out, we've been very steady, surprisingly so for me especially with the weather this morning." 

Research does show weather can significantly impact voter turnout. A 2007 study, published in the Journal of Politics, found that for each inch of above-average snowfall, voter turnout went down by half a percent. 

The same study also found out with every above-average inch of precipitation, Republican candidates received an extra 2.5 percent of the vote, so weather may be something to follow here.  
 

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