Latest Research from the VTP

A Day of Poll Watching, Reno and Sparks, Nevada

Author(s): 
Ted Selker
Journal: 
User Experience Magazine
pp: 
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Across the United States, I have personally watched hundreds of precincts vote since 2001. Most recently, I traveled to Reno/Sparks, Nevada to observe the rollout of the Sequoia Direct record electronic voting systems with verifiable paper trail printers on September 7, 2004. This experience was also enriched by the members of the Secretary of State of California’s poll-watching effort, who invited me to join them to watch the election progress at eleven different polling places, which together represent almost forty different precincts.

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

Same Day Voter Registration in North Carolina

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Jonathan Nagler
R. Michael Alvarez
We have analyzed the likely impact on voter turnout should North Carolina adopt same day registration. Under the system proposed in North Carolina, eligible voters who miss the 25 day registration deadline may take advantage of same day registration during a period that lasts 19 days to three days prior to the election. During this time, voters may go to designated locations, and with the appropriate documentation, both register and vote.

Internet Voting in Estonia

Working Paper No.: 
60
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
Alexander H. Trechsel
Thad E. Hall
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.

Preliminary Voting -- Prevoting

Working Paper No.: 
35
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Ronald L. Rivest
We introduce the notion of preliminary voting, or pre-voting, wherein a voter deposits—perhaps over the Internet—a preliminary vote or prevote with election authorities at some time before the close of elections. Prevotes are not official votes, and need not be kept private; indeed, election officials might, as a matter of announced policy, publish the list of received prevotes together with the names of the voters submitting such prevotes.

Whose Absentee Votes Are Counted?

Working Paper No.: 
26
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Betsy Sinclair
Thad E. Hall
R. Michael Alvarez
Absentee voting is becoming more prevalent throughout the United States. While there has been some research focused on who votes by absentee ballot, little research has considered another important question about absentee voting: Which absentee ballots are counted, and which are not? Research following the 2000 presidential election has studied the problem of uncounted ballots for precinct voters, but not for absentee voters.

Making Voting Easier: Election Day Registration in New York

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Catherine H. Wilson
Jonathan Nagler
R. Michael Alvarez
As policy makers, election officials, and the public consider whether New York should change the way in which voters are allowed to register to participate in elections, and bring New York State election law into compliance with the Help America Vote Act, we provide an analysis of the potential impact of election dar registration (EDR) in New York. The current system of registration is one in which citizens must register 25 days before election day in order to be eligible to vote. Under EDR this advance registration barrier would be eliminated as citizens could register on election day.

The Likely Consequences of Internet Voting for Political Representation

Author(s): 
Jonathan Nagler
R. Michael Alvarez
Journal: 
Loyola Law Review
pp: 
1115-1153
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
In this Article, Professors R. Michael Alvarez and Jonathan Nagler consider the consequences of Internet voting for political representation. They believe that based on the evidence presented Internet voting is likely to exacerbate the current problem of class-bias in American elections if it is introduced any time in the near future. The authors maintain that previous reforms to ease voting or registration have tended to be taken advantage of by those of higher socio-economic status.

Whose Absentee Votes Are Counted?

Working Paper No.: 
6
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Thad E. Hall
The Century Foundation
R. Michael Alvarez
Absentee voting is becoming more prevalent throughout the United States. While there has been some research focused on who votes by absentee ballot, little research has considered another important question about absentee voting: Which absentee ballots are counted, and which are not? Research following the 2000 presidential election has studied the problem of uncounted ballots for precinct voters, but not for absentee voters.

The Perverse Consequences of Electoral Reform in the United States

Author(s): 
Adam Berinsky
Journal: 
American Politics Research
pp: 
471-491
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
A number of electoral reforms have been enacted in the United States in the past three decades that are designed to increase turnout by easing restrictions on the casting of ballots. Both proponents and opponents of electoral reforms agree that these reforms should increase the demographic representativeness of the electorate by reducing the direct costs of voting, thereby increasing turnout among less-privileges groups who, presumably, are most sensitive to the costs of coming to the polls.

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