Weather may affect voter turnout

  • Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2012 11:36 p.m.
    UPDATED: Monday, November 5, 2012 8:45 a.m.

As Election Day approaches, many residents may begin to wonder what the weather over the next few days.

Skies are expected to be partly cloudy today with a high of 66, a low of 46 and a 40 percent chance of rain. Temperatures will be a little cooler Tuesday with a high of 55, a low of 37 and a 50 percent chance of rain.

“The rain will be brought before daybreak on Tuesday, and it will rain throughout the day,” said National Weather Service forecaster Dan Miller. “It will leave the area moving east by Tuesday night.”

The cooler temperatures that the Aiken area is feeling is not exactly normal for this time, according to Miller.

“It's a little bit cool for this time of year. The combination of cooler and dryer air, and the rain mixes with that and causes temperatures to drop,” Miller said.

With rain expected on Election Day, some may wonder if voter turnout will be affected, and, according to The Weather Channel's website, it does.

A study conducted in 2007 to determine whether rain and low temperatures affect voter turnout returned solid data that supported this hypothesis.

“Rain or snow can significantly decrease the level of voter turnout within a county,” wrote Tim Ballisty, editorial meteorologist for The Weather Channel. “Every one inch increase in rain above its Election Day average yields a decline in voter turnout by just slightly 1 percent.”

According to Miller, forecasters are expecting the Aiken area to yield one-half to two-thirds of an inch of rain Tuesday, but no thunderstorms are expected to form.

“There will be some rain in the area but not in the form of thunderstorms or anything severe, just rain,” Miller said.

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