Latest Research from the VTP

Election Technology and the Voting Experience in 2008

Working Paper No.: 
71
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Draft of March 25, 2009

E-Voting: Perspectives and Experiences

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Edited by S Jaya Krishna and Naveen Kumar
Chapter 14
Lessons and Trends in E-Voting: Initiatives in the US and Abroad by R. Michael Alvarez and Thad E. Hall

Where the Good Signatures Are: The Number and Validity Rates of Initiative Petition Signatures Gathered in California Counties

Working Paper No.: 
13
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Frederick J. Boehmke
University of Iowa
R. Michael Alvarez
One of the biggest hurdles to qualifying an initiative for the ballot is gathering the required number of signatures. Yet little is known about these signatures' representativeness or demographic origin. Using data from eight recent California initiatives, we study the distribution of signatures across counties. We ten conduct regression analysis to study how characteristics of counties relate to the number of signatures gathered there.

The Introduction of Voter Registration and Its Effect on Turnout

Working Paper No.: 
14
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Stephen Ansolabehere
MIT
David Konisky
Voter registration, it is widely argued, raises the costs of voting, thereby decreasing turnout. Studies of turnout across states find that states with later registration dates or election day registration have much higher turnout rates. Eliminating registration barriers altogether is estimated to raise voter participation rates by 5 to 10 percentage points. This paper presents panel estimates of the effects of the introduction of registration that exploit changes in registration law and turnout within counties.

The Voter Verifiable Audio Audit Transcript Trail (VVAATT)

Working Paper No.: 
18
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Ted Selker
MIT
The debate about verifiable voter audit trails has prematurely narrowed into two camps: those who categorically deny the need for any back-up records and those who advocate the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). As jurisdictions and watch-dog groups prepare to define their election processes we should consider all alternatives.

Seven Steps to Make Sure Your Vote is Counted

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Voting Technology Project
  • Make sure you are on your precinct's list of registered voters --- DO IT TODAY!
  • Get a sample ballot and read it carefully
  • Bring your sample ballot to help you in the voting booth
  • Try to vote between 10 AM and 4 PM on election day, or allow extra time for long lines
  • Know your rights and ask for help if you need it
  • You have a right to vote if you are registered in your precinct (even if your name does not appear on the list of registered voters in your precinct)

Insuring The Integrity Of The Electoral Process: Recommendations For Consistent And Complete Reporting Of Election Data

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Voting Technology Project
Many factors affect the quality of election administration. To name a few, personnel, preparation, equipment, polling places and legal regulations each play a role in determining how well the voting process works. However, an election in a democratic nation is actually an accounting procedure. Voter preferences must be counted precisely and fairly so that the correct, winning candidates can take their positions and those who lose can vacate theirs. A variety of steps can be implemented to insure that an election is just, accurate, trustworthy, and can withstand expert and public scrutiny.

Voter Removal from Registration List Based on Name Matching is Unreliable

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Alexandre Buer
Ted Selker
No abstract available.

On The Discrepancy Between Party Registration and Presidential Vote in Florida

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Voting Technology Project
  1. Allegations have surfaced on the Internet about aparent anomalies between partisan voter registration statistics and the Bush-Kerry vote in certain Florida counties.
  2. Our examination of these allegations is that they do not provide evidence for election fraud; rather they are clearly the result of political changes in Florida -- counties with the greatest apparents disparities are those that are closely aligned with the "Dixiecrat" South.

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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