Monday, May 16, 2022

Will Oxford Weather Dampen Voter Turnout?

Two days of rain for Oxford. Photo by Morgan Green.

By Morgan Green
Journalism student

The research on whether bad weather keeps people away from the polls is a little on the cloudy side. The good news is that, with Election Day on Tuesday, people in Oxford and Lafayette County may have little to worry about either way.

WTVA meteorologist Joel Young said that we can expect the recent rain to stop and the sun to shine on November 3.

“At least for North Mississippi, things are looking pretty clear, and I really think that over the state of Mississippi, overall,” Young said.

Right now, the forecast indicates plenty of sunshine but a little nip in the air with a projected high of 62 degrees. However, at least one local voter is planning to cast her ballot, no matter what the weather looks like on Election Day.

“The weather would not affect whether I go vote or not in this election because this election is very important. For one, the people in my community, the Black community, so whether it be freezing cold, rain, or snowing, I would still go wait in those lines because representation matters now more than ever,” Ole Miss student Charee Woodard said.

So does the weather on Election Day matter at all? One highly cited research paper looked at Election Day weather data from 22,000 U.S. locations and found that “rain significantly reduces voter participation by a rate of just less than 1% per inch, while an inch of snowfall decreases turnout by almost .5%. Poor weather is also shown to benefit the Republican party’s vote share.”

Story by Morgan Green, journalism student