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Use this page to browse all content from the Voting Technology Project, sorted by last updated.

Testimony on Voter Verification

Working Paper No.: 
31
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Ted Selker
No abstract available.

Voter Registration: Past, Present, and Future

Working Paper No.: 
30
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
The Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project identified problems with voter registration as a pressing problem in the 2000 presidential election; between 1.5 and 3 million votes were lost due to voter registration problems in that election. Voter registration is a central component of the election management process in the United States, and is an important foundation for how elections are administered.

American Elections: A Critical Moment for Research and Reform

Working Paper No.: 
29
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
The 2004 election provided important lessons regarding the performance of voting technology, about continuing problems with voter registration and provisional balloting, issues with procedures and poll site voting practices, and raised questions about the liberalization of early and absentee voting. There are a series of important issues that should be the focus of the election research and reform agenda in coming years:
  • Developing and implementing statewide voter registration databases
  • Improving poll site practices

An Active Approach to Voting Verification

Working Paper No.: 
28
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Sharon Cohen
Ted Selker
As our voting systems have come to rely more deeply on computer technology there have been great opportunities to improve the voting process, however, recently computer scientists and the general public have become wary of the amount of trust we place in the computers running our elections. Many proposals for audit systems to monitor our elections have been created. One popular audit system is the voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT). Another more recent proposal is the voter verified audio audit transcript trail (VVAATT).

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.

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