Politicians often foment violence before elections to reduce competitiveness and, hence, increase their chances of winning. Given that fear and intimidation may be used to prevent voters from casting their ballots, many case studies, as well as anecdotal evidence, suggest that electoral violence has a suppressive effect on voter turnout. However, until now there has been no large-scale, multi-year analysis on the effect of pre-election violence on one of its primary targets, voter turnout. Looking across sub-Saharan Africa, and more specifically at Kenya, this article examines the influence of pre-election violence on voter turnout and finds, in the aggregate, no significant effect. Nevertheless, electoral violence may be used to depress turnout, to mobilize supporters, or to punish victors. It is a persistent trend in sub-Saharan Africa and one that threatens to undermine democratic development.