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 a major election for state positions and presidential preference for both major parties. News reports showed pictures of long lines of voters due to fewer polling locations and suggested that the election may further the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A contact-tracing analysis by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services identified 71 confirmed cases of COVID-19 to in-person voting, but no research has conducted a broader analysis of the extent to which in-person voting increased the number of COVID-19 cases. We use county level data on voting and COVID-19 tests to connect the election to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We find a statistically and economically significant association between in-person voting and the spread of COVID-19 two to three w...

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