decision 2022

Rainy Election Day: Will Wet Weather Wash Away Votes?

Bad weather on Election Day influences voter turnouts with last-minute voters typically opting to stay home, according to studies.

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Los Angeles-area residents planning to cast their ballots Tuesday will have to withstand expected rainy conditions that could affect voter turnout, according to local political experts.

The Southland is expected to see steady rainfall throughout Tuesday, with at least an inch of rain expected in some areas. Though everyone has the option to submit ballots by mail, that still requires heading out the door to drop ballots in mailboxes or vote centers.

Inspired voters will vote no matter what, but the wet weather could keep some people on the fence of voting from participating in the election, according to Mindy Romero, director of USC's Center for Inclusive Democracy.

That might apply to people who aren't enthusiastic about a particular candidate and feel like they might be voting for the “lesser of two not great candidates,” Romero explains. “Then it's not going to be necessarily a big negative for you not to participate.”  

Fernando Guerra, professor of political science at Loyola Marymount University, says that, in his experience with voter turnout data, “so many people say they want to vote and they're going to vote -- and they don't vote.”

Bass had a double-digit lead just a month ago among likely voters, but Caruso closed the gap to within four percentage points in late October, according to a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll.

But it may be the Caruso campaign that faces more challenges with wet weather, according to the experts. Caruso has gained supporters among undecided voters, the UC Berkeley IGS poll indicated, as he has ramped up neighborhood canvassing.

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