Latest Research from the VTP

Who Overvotes, Who Undervotes, Using Punchcards? Evidence from Los Angeles County

Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
D.E. "Betsy" Sinclair
Journal: 
Political Research Quarterly
pp: 
15-25
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
In this study we examine over- and undervotes from the November 2000 General Election in Los Angeles County. Los Angeles County is the nation's largest election jurisdiction and it used a punchcard voting system in that election. We use precincts as our unit of analysis and merge the 2000 election data with census data and voter registration data; our dataset allows us to examine all of the countywide races in 2000 (including candidate and ballot measures).

The Complexity of the California Recall Election

Author(s): 
Sarah M. Sled
Melanie Goodrich
Thad E. Hall
Journal: 
PS: Political Science and Politics
pp: 
23-26
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
The October 7, 2003 California Recall Election strained California’s direct democracy. In recent California politics there has not been a statewide election conducted on such short notice; county election officials were informed on July 24 that the election would be held on October 7. Nor has California recently seen a ballot with so many candidates running for a single statewide office. With easy ballot access requirements, Secretary of State Kevin Shelley certified 135 candidates for the official ballot on August 13.

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

Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
Stephen Ansolabehere
R. Michael Alvarez
Journal: 
Policy Studies Journal
pp: 
15-24
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
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.

Residual Votes Attributable to Technology

Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
Stephen Ansolabehere
Journal: 
Journal of Politics
pp: 
365-389
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
We examine the relative performance of voting technologies by studying presidential, gubernatorial, and senatorial election returns across hundreds of counties in the 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.

Comparative Voting Performance of Reading Disabled Voters

Author(s): 
Jonathan A. Goler
Edwin J. Selker
Lorin F. Wilde
Journal: 
Interacting with Computers
pp: 
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Although legislation now protects the rights of voters with special needs, no one has previously evaluated how different electronic voting systems affect the performance of the reading disabled community. Results of this initial study, evaluating three current systems, proved surprising and inform how future voting interfaces may potentially be improved for the population at large.

Election Auditing is an End-to-End Procedure

Author(s): 
Ted Selker
Journal: 
Science
pp: 
1873-1874
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
No abstract available.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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