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Protecting Your Vote

Just ask Rick Santorum. In January, Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucuses, but, because of vote counting and tabulation errors, Mitt Romney was declared the winner. In the two weeks before the error became clear, Romney’s campaign gained momentum, while Santorum’s withered. Unfortunately, the same problem – or worse – could easily occur in Massachusetts. This year, voters will choose the president, and control of the US Senate may come down to the race shaping up between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren.

Why Don't People Vote?

Link to Article: 
Newspaper: 
Psychology Today
Date Published: 
12/01/2011
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
Caltech
Op-Ed
It's just weeks away from the first round of presidential caucuses and primaries here in the US, and in coming months we will hear more about how low voter participation typically is in US presidential elections—and whether it matters. I thought that I'd start by writing about why people don't vote in US presidential elections. That is, why don't those American citizens who are registered to vote turnout? In later essays I'll take up related questions, like why eligible citizens don't register to vote, a question on which there is considerable research.

Election Integrity - Past, Present & Future

This event is to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the First National Symposium on Security and Reliability of Computers in the Electoral Process, held in Boston, Massachusetts in 1986. This event was co-chaired by Eva Waskell and Kurt Hyde. The date that this event will take place: Location: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Stata Center, Kirsh Auditorium, Room 32-123, 32 Vassar St., Building 32, Cambridge, MA Sponsor: Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project Date: Saturday, October 1, 2011 Admission: Free. Donations accepted.

Voting Technologies

Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
MIT
Journal: 
Annual Review of Political Science
pp: 
353-378
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
05/01/2011
A renewed, energetic interest in voting technologies erupted in political science following the 2000 presidential election. Spawned initially by the recount controversy in Florida, the literature has grown to consider the effects of voting technologies on the vote choice more generally. This literature has explained why localities have the voting technologies (lever machines, punch cards, etc.) they use.

Needed -- a 21st century voter registration system for California

Link to Article: 
Newspaper: 
San Francisco Chronicle
Date Published: 
05/29/2011
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
Caltech
Dean Logan
Op-Ed
The world looks to California for 21st century innovation, especially for the application of technology that makes life less costly and more efficient. Californians are well into the 21st century, working in the cloud, using smart phones and tablet computers, and getting their entertainment on-demand by satellite. But when it comes to voter registration, California seems to be stuck in the 18th century. State law won't allow eligible citizens in our state to register online until at least 2015 -- and maybe much later.

Charles Stewart III and Jonathan Katz elected fellows of the American Association of Arts and Sciences

Congratulations to Charles Stewart III and Jonathan Katz who were elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Charles and Jonathan join one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy studies of science and technology policy, global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities, and education. Following are links to both press releases from MIT and Caltech: http://www.amacad.org/news/pressReleaseContent.aspx?i=133

What Hath HAVA Wrought? Consequences, Intended and Not, of the Post-Bush v. Gore Reforms

Working Paper No.: 
102
Date Published: 
04/07/2011
Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
MIT
The Help America Vote Act (HAVA)1 is the most important direct federal response to the 2000 electoral fiasco in Florida. HAVA had many provisions, some directly inspired by the controversy, others that came along for the ride. In addition to mandating certain changes in how states conducted federal elections, HAVA appropriated $3b for the improvement of voting systems, most of which went to purchase new voting machines.

Partisan Bias in Evaluating U.S. Elections during the HAVA Decade: A Natural Experiment

Date Published: 
04/01/2011
Author(s): 
Shaun Bowler
University of California
Riverside
Controversies over the conduct of elections prompted a variety of reform efforts during the last decade, notably The Help America Vote Act. HAVA and state-level measures like California's Voting Modernization Bond Act allowed local governments to replace obsolete election equipment with more technologically advanced voting machines. The machinery of democracy appears to affect voter confidence in elections. However, these judgments are also associated with party identification and other voter characteristics.

Assessing Electoral Performance in the New Mexico 2010 General Election

Author(s): 
Alex N. Adams
University of New Mexico
Lisa Bryant
The 2010 New Mexico Election Administration Report represents a systematic examination of New Mexico's November 2010 General election. It is the third election report in a series that we began unintentionally in 2006 with our academic partners R. Michael Alvarez, professor at the California Institute of Technology, and Thad E. Hall, associate professor at the University of Utah. To our knowledge, no other state has had the kind of sustained and independent analysis over multiple elections.

MPSA 2011 Conference - Presentations by VTP Faculty, Affiliates and Students

Our Voting Technology faculty, affiliates and students will be presenting papers/posters, and several of our faculty will be sitting on panels at this year's Midwest Political Science Association Conference. Please visit the website for specific locations. Following are dates and times of the sessions for each VTP team member: > Paper: The 17th Amendment and the Partisan Composition of the U.S. Senate, by Charles H. Stewart III, MIT and Wendy J. Schiller, Brown University. March 31, 2011/4:35pm

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