Latest Research from the VTP

Voter Registration: Past, Present, and Future

Working Paper No.: 
30
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
The Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project identified problems with voter registration as a pressing problem in the 2000 presidential election; between 1.5 and 3 million votes were lost due to voter registration problems in that election. Voter registration is a central component of the election management process in the United States, and is an important foundation for how elections are administered.

Testimony on Voter Verification

Working Paper No.: 
31
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Ted Selker
No abstract available.

Machines Versus Humans: The Counting and Recounting of Pre-Scored Punchcard Ballots

Working Paper No.: 
32
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Sarah A. Hill
Jonathan N. Katz
R. Michael Alvarez
No abstract available.

California Votes: The Promise of Election Day Registration

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
Stephen Ansolabehere
Election day registration will produce higher voter participation in California.
  • States that have adopted EDR have witnessed a 3 to 6 percentage point increase in participation among the voting-age population.
  • Voting among young people and those who have moved in the last six months in nearly 15 percentage points higher in states with EDR.
  • California might experience an even larger increase in turnout--perhaps as much as 9 percentage points--because California has a younger and more mobile population

Military Voting and the Law: Procedural and Technological Solutions to the Ballot Transit Problem

Author(s): 
Brian F. Roberts
Thad E. Hall
R. Michael Alvarez
Journal: 
Fordham Law Review
pp: 
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
No abstract available.

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.

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.

The Introduction of Voter Registration and Its Effect on Turnout

Author(s): 
Stephen Ansolabehere
David Konisky
Journal: 
Political Analysis
pp: 
83-100
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Studies of voter turnout across states find that those with more facilitative registration laws have higher turnout rates. Eliminating registration barriers altogether is estimated to raise voter participation rates by up to 10%. This article presents panel estimates of the effects of introducing registration that exploits changes in registration laws and turnout within states. New York and Ohio imposed registration requirements on all of their counties in 1965 and 1977, respectively.

Rational and Pluralistic Approaches to HAVA Implementation: The Cases of Georgia and California

Author(s): 
Thad E. Hall
R. Michael Alvarez
Journal: 
Publius
pp: 
559-577
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
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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