According to an analysis of voter turnout, people are more likely to vote when they’ve had more sleep. This newly published research is significant to those in politics, suggesting that the date of the November election being after daylight savings time has an effect on who will win.
Political scientist Robert Utbatsch, who found the pattern of well-rested voters being more likely to make it to the polls, demonstrated that voter turnout goes up when the November election occurs 2 days after the end of daylight savings time. He used 3 different methods to analyze data.
First, he took a look at the voting patterns in Indiana during the 1990s and 2000s. Before 2006, the state had some counties that stayed on standard time all year round, while others switched to daylight saving time. Depending on when the election was held after daylight saving time, there was a 2.5% point increase in the predicted turnout.
Next, Utbatsch analyzed voting turn outs at the state level, based on the population that was eligible to vote. During the elections from 1971-2011, an extra hour of sleep and time a day before the election was associated with a 4.5% point increase in voters.
Finally, survey data was examined from the American National Election Study, which aimed to find out who voted in the most recent election. During the period of 1972-2008, after adjusting for other factors, the time change right before an election led to a higher probability of voting, a 2% increase. The results of Utbatsch’s studies also include that Democrats have a slight advantage when elections take place after the time change.
Utbatsch’s research demonstrates how sleeping more can motivate you to get more things done. How likely does the end of Daylight Savings date affect your decision to go out a vote or accomplish more on your do-to-list?