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Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

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President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

Research: To improve voter turnout, mail service speed key

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Monday, October 30, 2023   

When the postal service works better, people are more likely to vote - according to new research.

The study published in the Election Law Journal finds efficient postal service increases voter turnout regardless of a state's mail voting laws.

Some states have passed more restrictive mail-in voting laws since the false accusations of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Author of the research, Michael Ritter - assistant professor of political science at Washington State University - said the link is strong between good mail service and voting probability.

"Which indicates that the postal system is a critical factor," said Ritter, "in structuring the ability of mail voting to promote higher voter turnout at the individual level in the country."

Ritter said mail speed can determine whether a ballot makes it to an election office in time to be counted.

According to the study, people in states with universal mail-in voting - like Oregon - had the highest probability of voter turnout in 2018 and 2020, at 70%.

There was talk of reduced postal service in the run up to the 2020 election, which may have hurt confidence among some potential voters that their ballot would be delivered in time to be counted.

Ritter said that underscores the importance of mail service in elections.

"Does the postal system have sufficient resources to be able to reliably administer mail voting?" asked Ritter. "I think that's an important factor."

Ritter said the connection between mail service and voter turnout remains a critical issue.

"What I find in my article - that the postal system matters in moderating the impact to mail voting," said Ritter, "will continue to be the case in subsequent elections in the future, including 2024."




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