Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date


Faculty Advisor(s)

Ann Gordon


If liberalization of absentee voting has the ability to increase voter turnout, then it is significant to distinguish what demographics an absentee voter is most likely to be a part of. In the United States an individuals’ right to vote absentee is regulated by the state. Therefore, not every state in the United States grants their residents the choice to vote absentee. Initially, absentee voting was established as a means to allow soldiers displaced by war to participate in voting. Over time disabled citizens were granted the right to apply to vote absentee. Eventually, many states began to liberalize eligibility requirements in hopes of stimulating participation. Presently, voter participation in the U.S is very low, and therefore is not an accurate representation of American citizens. Voting is essential in democratic governance. Thus, it is important to determine whether liberalization of absentee voting has the potential to expand the electorate. Currently in the United States 20 states require an excuse for voters to be eligible for an absentee ballot. Conversely, a few states such as Oregon have switched to absentee only elections. With states such as California allowing individuals to choose to vote absentee permanently, questions of demographics come into play. What makes the individuals living in states such as California more attracted to voting absentee? Through utilizing information provided by the 2012 ANES Time Series Study, this research will seek to identify similarity between individuals who vote absentee, focusing on the female electorate.


Presented at the Fall 2014 Undergraduate Student Research Day at Chapman University.