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Voting Technology and Uncounted Votes in the United States

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
Stephen Ansolabehere
We examine the relative performance of voting technologies by studying presidential, gubernatorial, and senatorial election returns across hundreds of counties in hte United States from 1988 to 2000. Relying on a fixed effects regression applied to an unbalanced panel of counties, we find that in presidential elections, traditional paper ballots produce the lowest rates of uncounted votes (i.e. "residual votes"), followed by optically scanned ballots, mechanical lever machines, direct register electronic machines (DREs), and punch cards.

Report to the Alexandria Board of Elections

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Thad E. Hall
During the 2002 general election, the Alexandria Board of Elections tested the Hart Intercivic eSlate voting system as a first step in determining how well an electronic voting system would work in the City of Alexandria. There are three key findings from the evaluation of this system.
  1. Alexandria voters are comfortable and satisfied with the current voting system that they have. Voters like the optical scan system and use it quite adeptly.

Residual Votes Attributable to Technology: An Assessment of the Reliability of Existing Voting Technologies

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Voting Technology Project
This report examines the use of voting equipment and the incidence of spoiled and unmarked ballots associated with that equipment. We call the rate of spoiled and unmarked ballots the residual vote rate. The residual vote rate is not a pure measure of voter error. If voting technologies are not producing voter mistakes or confusion, the residual vote rate should be unrelated to equipment. The study covers election results from over 2700 counties and municipalities in the 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000 presidential elections.

Poll Workers and the Vitality of Democracy: An Early Assessment

Author(s): 
Kelly D. Patterson
J. Quin Monson
Thad E. Hall
Journal: 
PS: Political Science and Politics
pp: 
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
No abstract available.

How Hard Can It Be: Do Citizens Think It Is Difficult to Register to Vote?

Author(s): 
Morgan Llewellyn
Thad E. Hall
R. Michael Alvarez
Journal: 
Stanford Law & Policy Review
pp: 
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Political equality is seen as an intrinsic normative principle for the adequate functioning of a democratic republic. However, it is well documented that in the United States there are many qualified citizens who do not vote, many who do not participate in the political process due to procedural barriers that make it difficult or impossible for them to register and vote.

Bridging Science, Technology, and Politics in Election Systems

Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
Erik Antonsson
Journal: 
The Bridge
pp: 
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Shortly after the tumult of the evening of November 7 and the morning of November 8, 2000, the presidents of Caltech and MIT challenged us to solve the technological problems that had arisen in the election, especially with the punch-card voting systems that were widely disparaged after Florida’s presidential contest. Our initial research team spanned the continent and involved two campuses with different research and administrative cultures.

A Methodology for Testing Voting Systems

Author(s): 
Ted Selker
Elizabeth Resenzweig
Anna Pandolfo
Journal: 
Journal of Usability Studies
pp: 
7-21
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
This paper compares the relative merit in realistic versus lab style experiments for testing voting technology. By analyzing three voting experiments, we describe the value of realistic settings in showing the enormous challenges for voting process control and consistent voting experiences.

Residual Vote in the 2004 Election

Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
Journal: 
Election Law Journal
pp: 
158-169
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
04/01/2006
No abstract available.

Controlling Democracy: The Principal-agent Problems In Election Administration

Author(s): 
Thad E. Hall
R. Michael Alvarez
Journal: 
Policy Studies Journal
pp: 
491-510
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Election reform has become a major issue since the 2000 election, but little consideration has been given to the issues associated with managing them. In this article, we use principal agent theory to examine the problems associated with Election Day polling place voting. We note that Election Day voting manifests problems that agency theory shows are difficult to overcome, including adverse selection of and shirking by poll workers.

How Much is Enough? The 'Ballot Order Effect' and the Use of Social Science Research in Election Law Disputes

Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
D.E. "Betsy" Sinclair
Richard L. Hasen
Journal: 
Election Law Journal
pp: 
40-56
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
03/01/2006
No abstract available.

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