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The Influence of Initiative Signature Gathering Campaigns on Political Participation

Working Paper No.: 
27
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
Frederick J. Boehmke
Does direct democracy increase political participation? Rather than focus on state-level effects of the initiative process, this paper studies the effect of signature gathering campaigns on participation within a state. To this end we test whether parts of the state that are subject to more intense signature gathering campaigns, measured by the number of signatures gathered per capita, experience greater levels of political participation. We examine three measures of participation: registration, turnout, and ballot rolloff.

Whose Absentee Votes Are Counted?

Working Paper No.: 
26
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Betsy Sinclair
Thad E. Hall
R. Michael Alvarez
Absentee voting is becoming more prevalent throughout the United States. While there has been some research focused on who votes by absentee ballot, little research has considered another important question about absentee voting: Which absentee ballots are counted, and which are not? Research following the 2000 presidential election has studied the problem of uncounted ballots for precinct voters, but not for absentee voters.

Residual Vote in the 2004 Election

Working Paper No.: 
25
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
No abstract available.

Who Does Better with a Big Interface? Improving Voting Performance of Reading for Disabled Voters

Working Paper No.: 
24
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Lorin F. Wilde
Jonathan Goler
Ted Selker
This study shows how ballot interfaces variably affect the voting performance of people with different abilities. An interface with all information viewable simultaneously might either help orient or overwhelm a voter, depending on he/her skill-set. Voters with diagnosed reading disabilities performed significantly better on full-faced voting machines than those who demonstrated a high likelihood of similar, but undiagnosed, disabilities. In contrast, the diagnosed group performed worse than others when using standard-sized Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) systems.

Orienting Graphical User Interfaces Reduces Errors: The Low Error Voting Interface

Working Paper No.: 
23
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Jonathan Goler
Matt Hockenberry
Ted Selker
This paper demonstrates opportunities for reducing errors eith orienting graphical interfaces for voting. We have built many interfaces to explore opportunities for keeping voters aware of selections they have made and are making. Tests of our best prototypes show that missed races and incorrect selection errors are greatly reduced with orienting graphics. The interface reduces errors significantly while extending the time required to vote.

Rational and Pluralistic Approaches to HAVA Implementation

Working Paper No.: 
22
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Thad E. Hall
R. Michael Alvarez
The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) has created a new dynamic for the oversight and implementation of federal elections, requiring states to assume greater control of election processes vis-a-vis their local governments than was previously the case in most states. We consider how HAVA has changed the relationship between states and localities, especially through the HAVA planning process. We examine two approaches that states have used in HAVA planning—a rational approach and a pluralistic approach—and how each can shape the power relationship between states and localities.

Studying Elections: Data Quality and Pitfalls in Measuring the Effects of Voting Technologies

Working Paper No.: 
21
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
Stephen Ansolabehere
R. Michael Alvarez
Professor Geralyn Miller reminds us of the range of voting administration practices across the United States. We use this variability to study the average performance of various types of voting equipment throughout the country (Ansolabehere and Stewart n.d.). Professor Miller suggests that the performance of equipment is, in fact, quite variable across states.

Voting Machines and the Underestimate of the Bush Vote

Date Published: 
12/05/2004
Author(s): 
Voting Technology Project
  1. A series of claims have been made in recent days alleging that discrepancies between exit poll results and the presidential vote in certain states provides evidence of malfeasance in those states. These claims seem to be concentrated on states using electronic voting systems.
  2. Exit polls predicted a significantly greater vote for Kerry nationwide than the official results confirmed, but there is not any apparent systematic bias when we take this same analysis to the state level.

On The Discrepancy Between Party Registration and Presidential Vote in Florida

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Voting Technology Project
  1. Allegations have surfaced on the Internet about aparent anomalies between partisan voter registration statistics and the Bush-Kerry vote in certain Florida counties.
  2. Our examination of these allegations is that they do not provide evidence for election fraud; rather they are clearly the result of political changes in Florida -- counties with the greatest apparents disparities are those that are closely aligned with the "Dixiecrat" South.

Voter Removal from Registration List Based on Name Matching is Unreliable

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Alexandre Buer
Ted Selker
No abstract available.

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