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Canadian attitudes towards voting during the COVID-19 pandemic – Wave 1

Report prepared for Elections Canada

Peter John Loewen & Eric Merkley
PEARL (Policy, Elections, and Representation Lab)
Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
University of Toronto

June 23, 2020

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing disruption across nearly all sectors of daily lives. Individuals are working from home, practicing social distancing, avoiding travel, and generally living their lives in a much more limited way than previously. While Canadians have adjusted to this new normal, a major challenge remains. In particular, determining how we can safely return to a more normal state, where schools, workplaces, and social sites can open, if in a limited, modified fashion.

Canada has not yet seen an election conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, either at the federal or provincial level. It is likely, however, that at least one provincial or federal election will occur before an effective vaccine achieves mass availability. Accordingly, it is centrally important to Canadian democracy to determine how elections can be safely and effectively conducted in light of COVID-19 and social distancing requirements. This includes especially determining how ballots can be cast and counted.

Most voting in Canadian federal elections―whether in advance or on the day of the election―occurs in person. Individuals turn up at polling sites, sometimes wait in a short line for normally a small amount of time, and then receive, mark, and cast a paper ballot. How willing are citizens to vote in person in light of COVID, and what other methods might they be willing to use?

The purpose of this report is to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic could affect voter turnout in Canadian federal elections and to understand what precautions would help maintain high levels of voter turnout. To do this, we make use of a survey conducted among approximately 2,500 Canadian adults between June 14 and June 17. The survey is a part of an ongoing study of the social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to surveying respondents about their experiences of and views on the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked them several questions about their willingness to vote in an election and the methods of securing voting sites, which would increase or decrease their likelihood to vote. Using a series of empirical approaches, we advance the following six findings:

  • Finding 1: When made to think about the safety concerns associated with COVID-19, individuals report a lower likelihood of turning out to vote.
  • Finding 2: Voters are willing to vote using in-person methods, but a substantial minority would prefer to vote by mail. Vote by mail is not opposed by a large percentage of voters.
  • Finding 3: There are a number of precautions that Elections Canada can take to increase voters' perceptions of safety.
  • Finding 4: Concern over COVID-19 is the biggest driver of perceptions of the safety of elections. This concern is widespread and cuts across demographic groups.
  • Finding 5: Perceptions of the safety of voting are the most important driver of whether individuals decrease their likelihood of voting in light of COVID-19. Perceptions of the safety of voting are highest among wealthier, older, and male respondents. Those at risk for COVID-19 are more likely to view voting as unsafe.
  • Finding 6: Respondents' concern about COVID-19 and perceptions of election safety are powerful determinants as to whether or not respondents will choose to vote in person―especially on election day―or whether to vote by mail.

In the report that follows, we outline the methodology of our survey. We follow this with a detailed discussion of our findings. We conclude with a discussion of policy implications.

Methodology―Survey Design

Our study relies on a survey conducted among 2,498 adult Canadians between June 15 and June 18, 2020. Our sample was provided by Dynata Inc, an international survey sample provider that controls a large number of proprietary survey panels. Our sample was constructed with national level quotas for age and gender and provincial population quotas. We then weighted the data using an iterative proportional fitting package (ipfweight) in STATA15.1 Respondents completed the survey on the Qualtrics platform.

Our survey is principally focused on COVID-19. The survey also contains a battery of questions on past political participation, leader evaluations, and the like. The survey is non-partisan, and no elements concerning partisan preferences have been analyzed for this report or shared with Elections Canada. In addition to COVID-19 related questions, respondents were also asked to answer six questions designed in consultation with Elections Canada.

In the first section of the survey, respondents were asked:

  1. If an election was held tomorrow, how likely or unlikely would you be to vote?
    • Certain to vote
    • Likely to vote
    • Unlikely to vote
    • Certain not to vote

This question provides a baseline for voter turnout intention in the next election, prior to respondents reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the final section of the survey, respondents were asked five questions.

  1. Considering the current situation with COVID-19, if an election was held tomorrow, how likely or unlikely would you be to vote?
    • Certain to vote
    • Likely to vote
    • Unlikely to vote
    • Certain not to vote

Respondents were then randomized to one of the following two questions:

  1. If you were to vote, and considering the current situation with COVID-19, what voting method do you think you would use? OR 4. If you were to vote, and considering the current situation with COVID-19, which of the following voting methods would you definitely NOT be willing to use? Please select all that apply.
    • At the polling station on election day
    • At the advance polling station
    • At a local Elections Canada office before election day
    • By mail
    • Other (please specify)
    • Don't know, yet

Respondents were then asked:

  1. Given the current situation with COVID-19, how unsafe or safe do you think it is to vote in person at a polling station?
    • Very unsafe
    • Somewhat unsafe
    • Somewhat safe
    • Very safe

Finally, respondents were asked:

  1. Which of the following protective measures would make voting at a polling station safer? [select all that apply]
    • Controls on the number of people allowed into the polling station at a time
    • Social distancing measures to keep people at least two meters apart
    • Requiring everyone to wear a mask while in the polling station
    • Single-use pencils
    • Provision of hand sanitizer at all polling stations
    • Early voting hours for electors at risk
    • Other (please specify)

The remainder of our survey is available upon request.

Results

Frequencies

We begin our analysis by considering the "topline" responses to each of our six questions. Table 1 presents our respondents' self-estimated likelihood of voting in the next federal election, when asked at the beginning of the survey and again at the end, after reflecting for approximately 15 minutes on the COVID-19 pandemic. As the survey shows, there is a substantial shift in the likelihood between the start and the end of the survey, with the percentage of people indicating they would be unlikely or certain not to vote growing from 7.5% to 10.9%.

Table 1. Self-reported likelihood of voter turnout at the start and end of the survey
Vote likelihood at start of survey Vote likelihood at end of survey
Certain to vote 73.4 66.9
Likely to vote 19.1 22.3
Unlikely to vote 4.6 7.6
Certain not to vote 2.9 3.3
N 2,497 2,497

When we asked half of respondents about a preferred voting method, we found substantial preferences for non-in-person voting methods. These results are shown in Table 2. While the majority of individuals indicate that they would vote in person, either at a polling station (29.2%), at an advance polling station (28.5%), or at an Elections Canada office before election day (4.7%), a substantial share of individuals (23.2%) indicate that they would prefer to vote by mail. Only one in eight respondents (12.2%) indicate that they do not know how they would vote.

When we instead asked half of respondents about methods they definitely would not use, we found that 33% indicate they would not vote in a polling station on election day, 23% would not vote in advance at a polling station, 17% indicate they would not vote at an Elections Canada office, while 19% indicate that they would not vote by mail. Some 3.2% of respondents signalled that they would definitely not use all listed voting methods aside from mail. For the most part, then, voters are not substantially opposed to any particular method of casting a ballot, but a concerning number indicate an unwillingness to vote on election day or using another in-person method.

When respondents are asked to indicate how safe they think voting in person at a polling station will be, given the situation with COVID-19, we find that the majority indicate that they regard it as either very unsafe (13.6%) or somewhat unsafe (41.2%). A third (35.8%) regard voting as somewhat safe, while only one in ten (9.4%) regard the practice as very safe.

Table 2. Respondent preferences over voting method
Intend to use Definitely not use
Election day 29.2 33.1
Advance polls 28.5 22.9
Elections Canada office 4.7 17.0
Mail 23.2 19.1
Other 2.2 1.7
Don't know 12.2 30.5
N 1,243 1,257

Finally, we asked individuals who felt that voting was somewhat safe, somewhat unsafe, or very unsafe, what protective measures would make voting at a polling station safer. Table 3 presents these frequencies for each item.

Table 3. Support for safety measures at polling locations
Precaution % indicating it would increase safety
Social distancing measures to keep people at least 2 meters apart 83%
Provision of hand sanitizer at all polling stations 82%
Controls on the number of people allowed into the polling station at a time 81%
Requiring everyone to wear a mask while in the polling station 74%
Early voting hours for electors at risk 64%
Single-use pencils 61%
N 2,260

Note: Four percent of respondents selected 'other' and offered an open-end response. Question was not asked for people who felt voting was "very safe".

In-depth analysis

In addition to our topline results, we have developed a number of in-depth models to understand individual differences in safety perceptions and willingness to engage with different voting methods.

Determinants of Election Safety Perceptions

A majority of our respondents (55%) indicated that they believed it was unsafe to vote at the polling station after considering the COVID-19 situation. Our data allow us to see which groups of Canadians are more or less likely to perceive this risk. We estimate two models. The first predicts perceptions of election day safety with demographic characteristics such as region, gender, age, location of residence, 2018 household income, education, and whether they (or someone in their household) are personally at risk of complications from COVID-19. The second model includes those same characteristics, while adding level of COVID-19 concern (very concerned to not at all concerned; 4-point) and whether or not the respondent voted in the 2019 federal election (1=Yes). We rescale all of our variables from 0-1 for ease of interpretation. The estimates are shown in Table 4. Descriptions of our variables can be found in Appendix A.

Table 4. Determinants of in-person election safety perceptions, OLS estimates
  1 2
Coef. SE Coef. SE
COVID-19 risk -0.08*** 0.01 -0.05*** 0.01
Education 0.01 0.03 0.01 0.03
Income 0.07*** 0.03 0.05** 0.03
Age 0.15*** 0.03 0.18*** 0.03
Location -0.09*** 0.02 -0.05*** 0.02
Female -0.03** 0.01 -0.02 0.01
Quebec 0.06** 0.03 0.00 0.02
Ontario -0.02 0.02 -0.03 0.02
West 0.03 0.03 0.01 0.02
COVID-19 concern -0.34*** 0.02
Voted in 2019 0.06*** 0.02
Constant 0.46*** 0.04 0.63*** 0.04
R2 0.06 0.18
N 2195 2195

Note: * p<0.1, ** p<0.05, *** p<0.01. Safety perceptions scaled from 0=very unsafe to 1=very safe

According to model 1, respondents at risk of COVID-19 complications score 0.08 points lower in their assessment of the safety of in-person voting on its 0-1 scale (p<0.01). Respondents with a household income of over 250,000 dollars score 0.07 points higher than those earning no income in their safety perceptions (p<0.01). A respondent aged 65 is expected to score 0.06 points higher than a respondent aged 35 (p<0.01), while respondents with rural residence score 0.09 points lower in those same perceptions compared to someone living in a large city (p<0.01). Women score 3 points lower in their evaluations of the safety of in-person voting (p<0.05).

Model 2 includes COVID-19 concern and past voting patterns. People who voted in 2019 score 0.06 points higher in their election safety perceptions (p<0.01), while concern about COVID-19 is powerfully associated with these perceptions. Respondents who are very concerned about COVID-19―some 35% of the sample―score 0.34 points lower in their evaluations of in-person voting safety compared to those who are not at all concerned about COVID-19, who comprise only 6% of the sample (p<0.01). To put this result in another way, if concern over COVID-19 increased by 10 percentage points in the aggregate, we would expect perceptions of in-person voting safety to decrease by 3.4 percentage points, all things being equal. Canadians who are very concerned about COVID-19 are pessimistic about the safety of in-person voting.

Determinants of Turnout Intention Change

Canadians are overwhelmingly concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, and this concern is lowering their confidence in the safety of in-person voting. This has the potential to reduce voter turnout in the future if the COVID-19 pandemic remains top-of-mind for Canadians. We evaluate this possibility by asking our respondents their likelihood of voting at the beginning of our survey and at the end of the survey. The survey was heavily dedicated to questions related to COVID-19 attitudes and behaviours. As a result, this survey will prime respondents to think about COVID-19 when answering the follow-up vote intention question later in the survey (in addition to including an explicit prime in the question text). As shown in the previous section, 73% of respondents reported that they were certain to vote at the beginning of the survey, compared to only 67% towards the end. This difference is statistically significant (p<0.001). Priming people to think about COVID-19 reduces intention to vote.

Our data can allow us to explore which groups of Canadians are more likely to reduce their vote intention over the course of the survey. We estimate three models predicting change in vote intention, which are provided in Table 5. The first model includes demographic characteristics such as region, gender, age, location of residence, 2018 household income, education, and whether they (or someone in their household) are personally at risk of complications from COVID-19. The second model includes those same characteristics, while adding level of COVID-19 concern and whether or not the respondent voted in the 2019 federal election. The third model includes all previous variables as well as their perceptions of the safety of in-person voting. All explanatory variables are rescaled from 0-1.

Table 5. Determinants of changes in vote intention, OLS estimates
  1 2 3
Coef. SE Coef. SE Coef. SE
COVID-19 risk 0.00 0.01 -0.01 0.01 -0.01 0.01
Education -0.01 0.02 -0.01 0.02 -0.01 0.02
Income 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.02
Age -0.04* 0.02 -0.05** 0.02 -0.04 0.02
Location 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
Female -0.01 0.01 -0.01 0.01 -0.01 0.01
Quebec 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.02
Ontario -0.01 0.02 -0.01 0.02 -0.01 0.02
West -0.02 0.02 -0.02 0.02 -0.02 0.02
COVID-19 concern 0.03* 0.02 0.00 0.02
Voted in 2019 0.02 0.01 0.02 0.01
Safety perceptions -0.08*** 0.02
Constant 0.06** 0.03 0.04 0.03 0.08*** 0.03
R2 0.00 0.01 0.02
N 2195 2195 2195

Note: * p<0.1, ** p<0.05, *** p<0.01

We find that age is negatively related with reduced vote intention (model 1), though this effect is only marginally significant (p<0.1). Our model predicts that a person aged 35 would reduce their vote intention by 0.04 points, compared to 0.03 points for someone aged 65. COVID-19 concern is associated with stronger reductions in vote intention (model 2; p<0.1). Our model expects someone who is not at all concerned about COVID-19 to reduce their vote intention by 0.02 points, which is non-significant, whereas a person who is very concerned about COVID-19 would reduce their vote intention by 0.04 points, which is statistically significant (p<0.001). Even more directly, model 3 shows that perceptions of in-person voting safety are strongly associated with changes in vote intention (p<0.001). Our model predicts that respondents who perceive in-person voting to be very unsafe would reduce their vote intention by 0.07 points (p<0.001), whereas those who perceive voting to be very safe would not reduce their vote intention at all. In short, COVID-19 has the potential to reduce voter turnout among people who are concerned about COVID-19 and who lack confidence in the safety of in-person voting.

Determinants of Voting Method Preferences

COVID-19 concern and perceptions of election safety are also closely tied to the voting methods that people are willing to use or avoid. We estimate three models predicting respondents' preference for each of the following voting methods: on election day, at an advance poll, at an Elections Canada office, and by mail, as well as their opposition to each of those methods. The first model includes demographic characteristics such as region, gender, age, location of residence, 2018 household income, education, and whether they (or someone in their household) are personally at risk of complications from COVID-19. The second model includes those same characteristics, while adding level of COVID-19 concern and whether or not the respondent voted in the 2019 federal election. The third model includes all previous variables as well as their perceptions of election safety. We estimate these models using logistic regression.

The estimates of our models are provided in Appendix B, while predicted probabilities are shown in Table 6 to illustrate the substantive importance of the effects since logistic regression coefficients are not directly interpretable. We find no significant demographic differences between those selecting election day and other methods (Table 6, model 1, column 1), but COVID-19 concern is negatively related with this choice (model 2, column 1). People who are very concerned about COVID-19 are 18 points less likely to vote on election day than people who are not at all concerned (0.25 vs0.43; p<0.01). Perceptions of election safety are also negatively associated with voting on election day, while concern about COVID-19 drops out of significance when including this covariate in the model (model 3, column1). People who feel the election would be very unsafe are 44 points less likely to choose to vote on election day than those who believe it will be very safe (0.12 vs0.56; p<0.01)

Table 6 Predicted probability of supporting or opposing voting method by values on relevant covariates
Support Oppose
Election day
1
Advance poll
2
EC office
3
Mail
4
Election day
5
Advance poll
6
EC office
7
Mail
8
Model 1
Female Yes 0.29 0.27 0.04** 0.25** 0.34 0.21 0.18 0.20
No 0.32 0.30 0.07** 0.20** 0.34 0.24 0.15 0.18
Age 35 0.32 0.24** 0.08** 0.24* 0.35 0.24* 0.18** 0.19
65 0.28 0.34** 0.02** 0.20* 0.32 0.20* 0.14** 0.20
Urban Small town 0.30 0.31 0.04 0.20 0.32 0.22 0.14 0.17
Large city 0.31 0.27 0.06 0.24 0.36 0.23 0.18 0.21
Income Low 0.29 0.25* 0.04 0.26* 0.34 0.22 0.14 0.22
High 0.31 0.32* 0.06 0.20* 0.34 0.23 0.18 0.17
Education Secondary 0.29 0.27 0.06 0.19** 0.33 0.26* 0.20** 0.22**
Undergrad 0.31 0.29 0.04 0.25** 0.34 0.21* 0.14** 0.17**
COVID risk Yes 0.29 0.31 0.06 0.23 0.35 0.27** 0.17 0.21
No 0.31 0.27 0.04 0.22 0.33 0.20** 0.16 0.18
Model 2
COVID concern Very 0.25** 0.29 0.06 0.32** 0.37 0.25 0.17 0.18
Not at all 0.43** 0.29 0.04 0.07** 0.28 0.18 0.15 0.22
Voted in 2019 Yes 0.34** 0.31** 0.05 0.20** 0.36** 0.23 0.16 0.18
No 0.11** 0.14** 0.05 0.36** 0.24** 0.19 0.18 0.22
Model 3
Perceived safety V. safe 0.56** 0.34* 0.07 0.04** 0.19** 0.16** 0.07** 0.19
V. unsafe 0.12** 0.24* 0.04 0.53** 0.48** 0.29** 0.29** 0.19

Note: * p<0.1; ** p<0.05.

We find the mirror opposite when evaluating the voting method respondents would definitely not use also shown in Table 6. Respondents who are very concerned about COVID-19 are 9 points more likely to report they would definitely not vote on election day than those who are not at all concerned (0.37 vs 0.28; model 2, column 5), though this is not quite significant (p~0.11). Similarly, respondents who believe the election will be very unsafe are 29 points more likely to report they would definitely not vote on election day than those who believe the election will be very safe (0.48 vs 0.19; p<0.01; model 3, column 5).

Our results for voting at advance polls and an Elections Canada office―displayed in Table 6―are similar to those for election day voting, albeit weaker and less consistent. Older respondents were modestly more inclined to select advance polls (p<0.01; model 1, column 2), and less inclined to oppose them (p<0.1; model 1, column 6). Those aged 65, for example, are 10 points more likely to vote at advance polls than those aged 34 (0.34 vs 0.24), while they are 4 points less likely to avoid them (0.2 vs 0.24). They are also 6 points less likely to vote at an Elections Canada office than those aged 34 (p<0.05; model 1, column 3), and yet 4 points more likely to definitely not use that voting method (p<0.1; model 1, column 7).

COVID-19 concern is not significantly associated with choosing or avoiding either advance polls or voting at an Elections Canada office. People who perceive the election to be unsafe, however, are 10 points less likely to choose advance polls (p<0.1; model 3, column 2), 13 points more likely to avoid advance polls (p<0.05; model 3, column 6), and 22 points more likely to avoid voting at Elections Canada offices (p<0.01; model 3, column 3), compared to those who believe the election will be very safe (0.24 vs 0.34; 0.29 vs 0.16; and 0.29 vs 0.07).

Finally, there are important demographic differences in willingness to vote by mail as shown in Table 6. Women are 5 points more likely than men to say they would use mail-in ballots (0.25 vs 0.20; p<0.05; model 1, column 4). Younger voters are more inclined to vote by mail. A 35-year-old is 4 points more likely to vote by mail than a 65-year-old (0.24 vs 0.2; p<0.1; model 1, column 4). Higher income respondents are 6 points less likely to vote by mail than those with lower income (0.2 vs 0.26, p<0.01; model 1, column 4), while university education respondents are 6 points more likely to vote by mail than those with only secondary school education (0.25 vs 0.19; p<0.05; model 1, column 4). COVID-19 concern is associated with voting by mail in the expected direction, with people who are very concerned being 25 points more likely to vote by mail than those who are not concerned at all (0.32 vs 0.07; p<0.01; model 2, column 4). Perceived safety is also powerfully associated with voting by mail. Respondents who perceive the election to be very unsafe are 49 points more likely to vote by mail than those who believe it to be very safe (0.53 vs 0.04; p<0.01; model 3, column 4). These predictors, however, do not shape opposition to voting by mail, with the exception of education.

In short, respondents' concern about COVID-19 and perceptions of election safety are powerful determinants as to whether or not respondents will choose to vote in person― especially on election day―or whether to vote by mail.

Discussion

The COVID-19 pandemic is upending everyday life. As we return to normal, the challenge for both formal and informal institutions will be to create spaces and practices which allow individuals to safely participate―whether they are in schools, daycares, places of business, or indeed polling places. Equally important is the challenge to create spaces which are perceived as being safe.

We find that individuals' perceptions of the safety of voting and their general concern over COVID-19 are the major predictors of whether they would be willing to vote in person or would prefer to vote by mail. This concern is widespread, and these factors far outweigh demographic factors. Our estimates are suggestive that the demand for voting by mail will be substantial in the next election.

Importantly, there are practical steps which Elections Canada can take to increase individuals' perceptions of the safety of voting. Effectively communicating those steps will likely be the major challenge, as voters' knowledge of the practicalities of in-person voting are typically low. Likewise, communicating to voters alternative means of casting a ballot will also likely pose a communication challenge. Despite these limitations, the majority of respondents to our survey suggest that they would intend to vote even in light of COVID-19. Maintaining their confidence in the process of voting is the final challenge.

Appendix A–Variable descriptions

Table A1. Variable descriptions
Variable Description
COVID-19 risk "Is anyone in your household in a high-risk group for which the annual seasonal influenza vaccine would usually be recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada? (These conditions include, individuals who are pregnant or those with chronic respiratory disease, chronic heart disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, chronic neurological disease, diabetes (all types), cancer, immunosuppression, dysfunction of the spleen, and/or BMI > 40)";

1=Yes
Education No schooling, some elementary, elementary, some secondary, secondary, some technical, technical, some university, bachelor's degree, master's degree, doctorate or professional, rescaled 0-1, don't knows coded as missing
Income No income; 1-30,000; 30,001-60,000; 60,001-90,000; 90,001-110,000; 110,001-150,000; 150,001-200,000; 200+, rescaled 0-1, don't know/prefer not to answer coded as missing
Age In years, rescaled 0-1 from minimum (18) to maximum (99)
Location Rural area, small town, large town, mid-sized city, large city, rescaled 0-1
Female 1=Yes
Region 1=Atlantic; 2=Quebec; 3=Ontario; 4=West
COVID-19 concern "How concerned are you about the coronavirus pandemic?"

Not at all concerned, not very concerned, somewhat concerned, very concerned, rescaled 0-1
Voted in 2019 1=Yes
In-person voting safety perceptions Very unsafe, somewhat unsafe, somewhat safe, very safe rescaled 0-1
Voting turnout Certain to not vote; unlikely, likely, certain to vote, rescaled 0-1

Appendix B–Logistic regression estimates

Table B1A. Logit estimates, preferred method
Election day Advance polls
1 2 3 1 2 3
COVID-19 risk -0.11
(0.15)
-0.11
(0.15)
-0.01
(0.15)
0.20
(0.14)
0.17
(0.15)
0.19
(0.15)
Education 0.23
(0.36)
-0.10
(0.38)
-0.06
(0.40)
0.25
(0.39)
0.04
(0.40)
0.05
(0.40)
Income 0.17
(0.31)
-0.01
(0.31)
-0.01
(0.33)
0.57*
(0.32)
0.46
(0.33)
0.46
(0.33)
Age -0.45
(0.34)
-0.75**
(0.35)
-1.29***
(0.37)
1.31***
(0.37)
1.02***
(0.38)
0.92**
(0.38)
Location 0.09
(0.22)
0.15
(0.23)
0.30
(0.23)
-0.22
(0.22)
-0.25
(0.22)
-0.22
(0.23)
Female -0.16
(0.14)
-0.12
(0.15)
-0.10
(0.15)
-0.13
(0.15)
-0.12
(0.15)
-0.12
(0.15)
Quebec 0.04
(0.28)
-0.22
(0.29)
-0.14
(0.30)
0.44
(0.32)
0.38
(0.33)
0.40
(0.34)
Ontario -0.26
(0.27)
-0.34
(0.28)
-0.21
(0.28)
0.14
(0.31)
0.13
(0.32)
0.17
(0.33)
West -0.14
(0.27)
-0.30
(0.28)
-0.28
(0.29)
0.50
(0.32)
0.45
(0.32)
0.46
(0.33)
COVID-19 concern -0.84***
(0.24)
-0.06
(0.28)
0.00
(0.25)
0.18
(0.26)
Voted in 2019 1.41***
(0.29)
1.30***
(0.30)
1.02***
(0.28)
0.98***
(0.28)
Safety perceptions 2.38***
(0.31)
0.53*
(0.27)
Constant -0.69* -0.92** -2.62*** -2.00*** -2.56*** -2.92***
N 1,083 1,083 1,083 1,083 1,083 1,083

Note: Standard errors in parentheses; * p<0.1, ** p<0.05, *** p<0.01

Table B1B. Logit estimates, preferred method
Elections Canada office Mail
1 2 3 1 2 3
COVID-19 risk 0.38
(0.31)
0.36
(0.32)
0.40
(0.32)
0.02
(0.16)
-0.05
(0.16)
-0.22
(0.18)
Education -0.98
(0.78)
-0.94
(0.79)
-0.95
(0.80)
0.82**
(0.40)
1.12***
(0.42)
1.22***
(0.46)
Income 0.57
(0.59)
0.58
(0.59)
0.56
(0.58)
-0.64*
(0.34)
-0.46
(0.34)
-0.49
(0.38)
Age -3.57***
(0.98)
-3.62***
(0.98)
-3.76***
(0.98)
-0.63*
(0.36)
-0.63
(0.38)
0.08
(0.43)
Location 0.32
(0.45)
0.28
(0.46)
0.35
(0.46)
0.29
(0.24)
0.18
(0.24)
0.01
(0.27)
Female -0.76**
(0.32)
-0.78**
(0.32)
-0.77**
(0.32)
0.32**
(0.16)
0.25
(0.16)
0.22
(0.18)
Quebec 0.12
(0.53)
0.18
(0.56)
0.20
(0.56)
-0.57*
(0.31)
-0.22
(0.32)
-0.19
(0.34)
Ontario -0.64
(0.56)
-0.64
(0.57)
-0.60
(0.57)
-0.14
(0.29)
-0.07
(0.29)
-0.27
(0.32)
West -0.23
(0.56)
-0.21
(0.57)
-0.19
(0.57)
-0.40
(0.30)
-0.25
(0.30)
-0.30
(0.33)
COVID-19 concern 0.47
(0.57)
0.71
(0.60)
1.89***
(0.33)
0.94**
(0.36)
Voted in 2019 -0.08
(0.39)
-0.12
(0.40)
-0.86***
(0.22)
-0.67***
(0.25)
Safety perceptions 0.71
(0.51)
-3.51***
(0.34)
Constant -1.18 -1.42* -1.93** -1.35*** -2.27*** -0.31
N 1,083 1,083 1,083 1,083 1,083 1,083

Note: Standard errors in parentheses; * p<0.1, ** p<0.05, *** p<0.01

Table B2A. Logit estimates, opposed method
Election day Advance polls
1 2 3 1 2 3
COVID-19 risk 0.07
(0.13)
0.02
(0.14)
-0.06
(0.14)
0.42***
(0.15)
0.38**
(0.15)
0.34**
(0.15)
Education 0.01
(0.03)
0.00
(0.03)
0.01
(0.03)
-0.07*
(0.04)
-0.07*
(0.04)
-0.07*
(0.04)
Income -0.01
(0.04)
-0.01
(0.04)
0.01
(0.04)
0.01
(0.05)
0.01
(0.05)
0.02
(0.05)
Age -0.00
(0.00)
-0.01*
(0.00)
-0.00
(0.00)
-0.01*
(0.00)
-0.01**
(0.00)
-0.01*
(0.00)
Location 0.06
(0.06)
0.05
(0.06)
0.03
(0.06)
0.03
(0.06)
0.02
(0.06)
0.01
(0.06)
Female 0.01
(0.14)
0.01
(0.14)
-0.02
(0.14)
-0.15
(0.15)
-0.16
(0.15)
-0.18
(0.15)
Quebec -0.05
(0.29)
-0.01
(0.29)
0.03
(0.30)
-0.06
(0.32)
-0.02
(0.32)
0.01
(0.32)
Ontario 0.00
(0.28)
0.01
(0.28)
0.00
(0.29)
-0.09
(0.31)
-0.08
(0.31)
-0.08
(0.31)
West -0.31
(0.28)
-0.29
(0.29)
-0.27
(0.30)
-0.13
(0.31)
-0.11
(0.32)
-0.09
(0.32)
COVID-19 concern 0.13
(0.08)
-0.01
(0.09)
0.12
(0.08)
0.04
(0.09)
Voted in 2019 0.59***
(0.21)
0.66***
(0.21)
0.24
(0.23)
0.27
(0.23)
Safety perceptions -0.46***
(0.09)
-0.26**
(0.11)
Constant -0.61 -1.16** -0.45 -0.46 -0.80 -0.40
N 1,112 1,112 1,112 1,112 1,112 1,112

Note: Standard errors in parentheses; * p<0.1, ** p<0.05, *** p<0.01

Table B2B. Logit estimates, opposed method
Elections Canada office Mail
1 2 3 1 2 3
COVID-19 risk 0.11
(0.17)
0.11
(0.17)
0.01
(0.18)
0.22
(0.16)
0.25
(0.16)
0.25
(0.17)
Education -0.11**
(0.04)
-0.10**
(0.04)
-0.10**
(0.04)
-0.08**
(0.04)
-0.08**
(0.04)
-0.08**
(0.04)
Income 0.07
(0.05)
0.07
(0.05)
0.09*
(0.05)
-0.08
(0.05)
-0.08
(0.05)
-0.08
(0.05)
Age -0.01**
(0.01)
-0.01**
(0.01)
-0.01
(0.01)
0.00
(0.00)
0.00
(0.00)
0.00
(0.00)
Location 0.11
(0.07)
0.11
(0.07)
0.08
(0.07)
0.09
(0.07)
0.10
(0.07)
0.10
(0.07)
Female 0.15
(0.17)
0.14
(0.17)
0.11
(0.17)
0.09
(0.16)
0.09
(0.16)
0.09
(0.16)
Quebec -0.42
(0.35)
-0.40
(0.36)
-0.34
(0.36)
0.27
(0.35)
0.24
(0.35)
0.24
(0.35)
Ontario -0.28
(0.34)
-0.28
(0.34)
-0.27
(0.34)
0.02
(0.34)
0.01
(0.34)
0.01
(0.34)
West -0.42
(0.34)
-0.40
(0.34)
-0.36
(0.34)
-0.18
(0.35)
-0.20
(0.35)
-0.20
(0.35)
COVID-19 concern 0.04
(0.10)
-0.14
(0.11)
-0.09
(0.10)
-0.09
(0.10)
Voted in 2019 -0.17
(0.24)
-0.11
(0.24)
-0.21
(0.23)
-0.21
(0.23)
Safety perceptions -0.58***
(0.13)
0.01
(0.10)
Constant -0.65 -0.65 0.23 -1.09** -0.84 -0.85
N 1,112 1,112 1,112 1,112 1,112 1,112

Note: Standard errors in parentheses; * p<0.1, ** p<0.05, *** p<0.01

Footnotes

Footnote 1 Minimum and maximum untrimmed weights were 0.73 and 1.40. The average weight is 1 and the standard deviation is 0.13. All the results presented below replicate substantively in the absence of weights.