How Voting Affects Your Health

image credit: Darren Hester

Voters on Election Day not only hold the fate of democracy in their hands when they step into the voting booths. Casting a ballot can also have subtle effects on the health and behavior of voters–at times with profound consequences.

Voting Causes Stress

Campaigns can be physically taxing for candidates, but voters as well can be stressed out by elections, according to a study released last year.

Last July, scientists from the University of Haifa and Ben-Gurion University in Israel found increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which is released when a person is under stress, just before casting a vote. According to one of the researchers, this unexpected physical and emotional reaction when in the voting booth could influence a voter’s decision.

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Original article posted on Discovery News, January 10, 2012, analysis by Talal Al-Khatib

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