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Detecting Fraud in America’s Gilded Age

Working Paper No.: 
2
Date Published: 
07/01/2008
Author(s): 
Gail Buttorff
University of Iowa
Abstract: This paper extends recent developments in election forensics to test for electoral fraud during a period of American history widely suspected to be ripe with fraud. It uses the second-digit Benford’s Law test in an effort to identify possible instances of election fraud during the Gilded Age—an era of highly competitive party politics. The study focuses on presidential and gubernatorial elections in Southern US states during the period from 1872 to 1896. The empirical results corroborate some of the extant historical anecdotes of electoral fraud during this period.

MIT IST News

Link to Article: 
Newspaper: 
MIT IST News
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Robyn Fizz
Op-Ed
The 2000 presidential election is remembered for Florida’s hanging chads and highly controversial recount. The 2004 presidential election was similarly contentious, with concerns about improper voting procedures in several states, including the swing state of Ohio. Aspects of the entire voting process were called into question, from voter registration, to the unequal distribution of voting machines, to the accuracy of the count. Will the voting process be fairer and the final tally more accurate in 2008? And how will voting technology come into play?

Electronic voting is a touchy issue

Link to Article: 
Newspaper: 
Mineralwellsindex.com
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
By Libby Cluett
Article
Even before early voting began, Homer Simpson foreshadowed problems with electronic touch-screen voting machines. “Voting Machines Are Flipping Votes Just Like The Simpsons Predicted,” an article posted on www.collegeotr.com, citing a clip of a “The Simpsons” episode, leaked online earlier in the month, that shows Homer Simpson trying to vote for Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

Can We Trust The Machines?

Author(s): 
Walter R. Mebane Jr.
Journal: 
Science Magazine
pp: 
322
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
10/31/2008
Since the 2000 U.S. presidential election, many have worked to increase voters’ confidence that election results are fair and correct. One theme from 2000 was that the technology used to record votes—especially punchcard ballots—was deficient and needed to be replaced. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 provided federal funds for states to acquire electronic voting machines or optically scanned paper ballots. New controversy arose when computer scientists and others complained that the recommended technologies were far from being up to the task. The

Building Secure and Transparent Elections through Standard

Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
Caltech
Thad Hall
Journal: 
Public Administration Review
pp: 
828-838
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Election reform has evolved since the 2000 presidential election. One issue that has remained at the forefront of public debate is how to build confidence in the election process. The foundation for confidence is based on procedures for electoral security and transparency. In this article, the authors use legal theories of evidence and public administration theories related to standard operating procedures to consider how election fraud - and claims of fraud - can be prevented by having effective and rigorous chain of custody procedures.

Election fraud fears: the cure

Link to Article: 
Newspaper: 
Los Angeles Times
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
Op-Ed
Escalating rage over the role of ACORN in registering presumably Democratic voters threatens to undermine the political legitimacy of a Barack Obama victory Nov. 4. And perhaps that's the point. But if John McCain were well ahead in the polls, the left would undoubtedly be shouting about electoral-system failures to de-legitimize a GOP win. It is too late to tone down the rhetoric for 2008, but if we want to end these sorts of attacks, there's only one solution: States must become more serious about how they administer elections.

VOTER CONFIDENCE IN CONTEXT AND THE EFFECT OF WINNING

Working Paper No.: 
68
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
Caltech
Thad E. Hall
A number of recent studies examine how confident voters are that their ballots are counted as intended in U.S. federal elections from 2000 to 2004. One consistent finding of these studies is that, relative to Democrats, Republican voters tend to be more confident that their ballots are counted correctly. However, it is also the case that in terms of the national outcomes of the 2000 and 2004 elections, Republicans were victorious. Additionally, research suggests that in the 2004 election voters who cast a paper ballot are more confident relative to those who vote using

An Empirical Bayes Approach to Estimating Ordinal Treatment Effects

Working Paper No.: 
67
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Jonathan N. Katz
Caltech
Delia Bailey
Ordinal variables — categorical variables with a defined order to the categories, but without equal spacing between them — are frequently used in social science applications. Although a good deal of research exists on the proper modeling of ordinal response variables, there is not a clear directive as to how to model ordinal treatment variables. The usual approaches found in the literature for using ordinal treatment variables are either to use fully unconstrained, though additive, ordinal group indicators or to use a numeric predictor constrained to be

Internet Voting in Comparative Perspective: The Case of Estonia

Author(s): 
Alexander Treshsel
European University Institute in Florence
Italy
Journal: 
PS: Political Science & Politics
pp: 
497-505
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
07/01/2009
Several countries have conducted Internet voting trials in binding public elections over the past decade, including Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These trials have been conducted at the local and regional levels of government, targeting specific populations of voters. However, Estonia—a former Soviet republic and now a full member of the European Union—has advanced the farthest in deploying Internet voting. Since 2000, Estonia has conducted two national elections in which all voters could use Internet voting.

Internet Voting in Comparative Perspective: The Case of Estonia.

Author(s): 
Alexander Treshsel
European University Institute in Florence
Italy
Journal: 
PS: Political Science & Politices
pp: 
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
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