Date of this Version
Drew Bydalek, "A Home Run for Turnout: An Analysis on the Use of Sports Facilities to Increase Voter Turnout," Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (2021).
In 2020, American voters turned out to cast ballots in record-breaking numbers. While many factors likely contributed to this increase in turnout, professional sports stadiums and arenas were used as polling locations for the first time. Did this first-time use of sports facilities contribute to increased turnout in the 2020 election? I theorize that sports facilities increase turnout by decreasing the cost of voting and providing psychological motivations to vote. The research design employed to test this theory is a difference-in-differences model (DD) that compares 2016 and 2020 county vote totals while controlling for various demographic factors. The results indicate that the use of sports facilities as polling locations is not predictive of increased turnout.