5-20-20 uw-oshkosh research ties in-person voting to covid-19 spread

Research led by University of Wisconsin Oshkosh economists indicate a significant association between in-person voting and the spread of COVID-19 two to three weeks after Wisconsin’s spring election April 7.   The study found that counties that had more in-person voters per location, with all else being equal, had a higher rate of positive COVID-19 tests than counties with relatively fewer  in-person voters.  UWO  economics department chair, Chad Cotti, says the results confirm the Wisconsin Department of Health Services finding on the link between the spread of COVID-19  and voting using testing and tracing methods.  Cotti says given the results it may be prudent for policy makers and election clerks to make changes for future elections during the pandemic.  Cotti suggests expanding the number of polling locations or encouraging absentee voting.   The working paper, analyzing county-level data from Wisconsin was posted online with the National Bureau of Economic Research this week.