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This is the sixth paper in a series examining aspects of voting in Iowa. It examines Iowa’s absentee voting in presidential and midterm elections since 2000. The results show a trend for increased absentee voting in Iowa. The trend exists for both midterm and presidential elections, though the average percentage of absentee voting in midterm elections is well below the average for presidential elections. In looking at various subgroups based on party, gender, and age group we see that Democrats are more likely vote absentee than Republicans and women more so than men. Although there are some variations among the subgroups these general trends are fairly robust. The results for age groups, however, are mixed. The emphasis placed on young voters by Democrats resulted in the 18-24 age group having the second highest percentage of absentee voting in five of the seven elections. Nevertheless, because the turnout percentage of the 18-24 group is generally low, the proportion of this group among all absentee voters is still low. The results also showed the effect of GOTV efforts on the part of the parties and campaigns. The greater emphasis on absentee voting in presidential years is evident in the greater percentage of such votes compared to midterm elections. The emphasis on both young voters (the 18-24 group) and older voters (the 65 & Over group) also appears in the results given that these two groups generally have the highest percentage of absentee voting.


This paper will be updated periodically.

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© 2014 Timothy M. Hagle