Many factors can affect voter turnout: older people generally vote more, as do people with higher income and more years of education. Researchers have recently begun to study how people’s health affects their involvement in politics. Previous research shows healthy people are more likely to vote, even after taking account of other factors known to be associated with turnout.
However, new research published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law and featured in a Washington Post article written by Sarah Gollust, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the School of Public Health and Wendy Rahn, a professor in Political Science, shows voter turnout is related to not just by how healthy you are, but whether you suffer from specific chronic illnesses. The biggest surprise from their research was that cancer was associated with higher voter turnout in the 2008 presidential election.