It is a raging debate: Would there be an increase in voter turnout solely because marijuana is on the ballot?
Stones’ Phones sought to answer this question in a recent live ID call program in Florida, where medical marijuana will be on the ballot this November. The call was placed to five-thousand random voters, but it was not a poll.
The results of the call program show an interesting trend linking marijuana initiatives and voter intensity.
Overall, 59% answered that they would be more likely to go to the polls because a marijuana initiative is on the ballot.
Nearly 67% of all those who support the marijuana initiative stated that they were more likely to vote on Election Day, as compared to only 5% of supporters who stated they were less likely to show up at the polls.
In contrast, 55% of those who oppose the marijuana initiative were more inclined to show up at the polls and surprisingly, nearly 20% of the opposition indicated they were less likely to vote if marijuana was on the ballot.
Of those who are more likely to go to the polls because of the marijuana initiative, supporters outnumber the opposed by a 12% margin.
Of those who are less likely to go to the polls, the opposed outnumber the supporters by a margin of 15%.
Are any individuals less likely to vote if marijuana is on the ballot?
Yes- 11% of voters are less likely to show up to the polls and the majority of them, 65%, would not support the marijuana initiative.
What do these statistics tell us?
Opponents of the marijuana initiative do not possess as strong a drive to show up at the polls as compared to the supporters.
The data obtained from this live ID call program generally reinforces a similar 2010 study we conducted in Oregon. In this study, individuals with a poor voting history said they were more than twice as likely to show up at the polls on Election Day if marijuana was on the ballot.
Chris Arterton (minute 1:00-1:50) a political management professor at George Washington University conducted a national poll in which he found that 69% of voters were either more likely or somewhat more likely to vote if marijuana is on the ballot.
Could marijuana initiatives begin serving as GOTV tools in the near future?
If issues drive votes, then marijuana will indeed become a part of the GOTV toolbox in future elections.