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Wet & Wild Election Day

by Dave Salesky

kgw.com

Posted on November 4, 2008 at 1:22 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:47 PM

Looks like election day 2008 is going to be a wild one, and I'm not talking about at the ballot box. Cold and unsettled air has been producing showers across much the the area. Some of the showers are going to be heavy at times. Reports have been coming in of heavy rain, thunder, lightning and hail. The showers will gradually taper off after sunset.

In the Cascades a winter weather advisory remains posted for snow and blowing snow. Another 5" to 9" accumulation is possible today. I don't see much of a break in precpitation a series of wet and windy systems will keep us damp through the weekend and beyond.

So how is the weather affecting voter turn out? It depends on where you are. A 2007 report in the Journal Of Poltics said that rain and snow could keep voters way from the polls.
electionday08.jpg

Looking at elections from 1960 to 2000 the study found that mainly Democrat and urban voters would stay away from the polls in moderate to heavy rain or snow. Why Democrats and not Republicans? The study found that more Democrats live in cities and use public transport. In a rain or snow event public transportation might be delayed, and people did not like standing in rain or snow waiting to cast ballots. (Does anybody like standing in the rain or snow?) George Krause, one of the co-authors of the report added, that in future years weather may play less of a roll in elections. Since the year 2000 over 30 states now have some time of early voting. By allowing vote by mail or letting voters cast ballots when they want, would mean weather would have little or no affect on an election.
Dave

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