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Waiting to Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election: Evidence from a Multi-county Study

Stein, Robert M. and Mann, Christopher and Stewart, Charles and Birenbaum, Zachary and Fung, Anson and Greenberg, Jed and Kawsar, Farhan and Alberda, Gayle and Alvarez, R. Michael and Atkeson, Lonna and Beaulieu, Emily and Birkhead, Nathaniel A. and Boehmke, Frederick J. and Boston, Joshua and Burden, Barry C. and Cantu, Francisco and Cobb, Rachael and Darmofal, David and Ellington, Thomas C. and Fine, Terri Susan and Finocchiaro, Charles J. and Gilbert, Michael D. and Haynes, Victor and Janssen, Brian and Kimball, David and Kromkowski, Charles and Llaudet, Elena and Mayer, Kenneth R. and Miles, Matthew R. and Miller, David and Nielson, Lindsay and Ouyang, Yu and Panagopoulos, Costas and Reeves, Andrew and Seo, Min Hee and Simmons, Haley and Smidt, Corwin and Stone, Farrah M. and VanSickle-Ward, Rachel and Victor, Jennifer Nicoll and Wood, Abby and Wronski, Julie (2020) Waiting to Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election: Evidence from a Multi-county Study. Political Research Quarterly, 73 (2). pp. 439-453. ISSN 1065-9129.

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This paper is the result of a nationwide study of polling place dynamics in the 2016 presidential election. Research teams, recruited from local colleges and universities and located in twenty-eight election jurisdictions across the United States, observed and timed voters as they entered the queue at their respective polling places and then voted. We report results about four specific polling place operations and practices: the length of the check-in line, the number of voters leaving the check-in line once they have joined it, the time for a voter to check in to vote (i.e., verify voter’s identification and obtain a ballot), and the time to complete a ballot. Long lines, waiting times, and times to vote are closely related to time of day (mornings are busiest for polling places). We found the recent adoption of photographic voter identification (ID) requirements to have a disparate effect on the time to check in among white and nonwhite polling places. In majority-white polling places, scanning a voter’s driver’s license speeds up the check-in process. In majority nonwhite polling locations, the effect of strict voter ID requirements increases time to check in, albeit modestly.

Item Type:Article
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Alvarez, R. Michael0000-0002-8113-4451
Additional Information:© 2019 University of Utah. Support for this research was provided by the Democracy Fund. The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Democracy fundUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:election administration, voting behavior, polling place operations
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200624-104210980
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Official Citation:Stein, R. M., Mann, C., Stewart, C., Birenbaum, Z., Fung, A., Greenberg, J., … Wronski, J. (2020). Waiting to Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election: Evidence from a Multi-county Study. Political Research Quarterly, 73(2), 439–453.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:103993
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:24 Jun 2020 22:30
Last Modified:25 Jun 2020 14:03

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