Latest Research from the VTP

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.

Fixing the Vote

Author(s): 
Ted Selker
Journal: 
Scientific American
pp: 
92-97
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Electronic voting machines promise to make elections more accurate than ever before, but only if certain problems -- with the machines and the wider electoral process -- are rectified.

2008 Survey of the Performance of American Elections

Date Published: 
03/01/2009
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
Caltech; Thad Hall
University of Utah
The 2008 Survey of the Performance of American Elections is the first comprehensive nationwide study of how voters experienced the administration of elections in the United States. The main part of the survey involved interviewing 10,000 registered voters (200 in each state) over the Internet. An additional 2,000 registered voters were interviewed in ten states, providing the opportunity to compare how interview respondents answer questions about election administration in these two survey modes. Also included is the Final Report: Executive Summary

Residual Votes in the 2008 Minnesota Senate Race

Working Paper No.: 
3
Date Published: 
11/15/2008
Author(s): 
Michael C. Herron
Dartmouth College
Jeffrey B. Lewis
The 2008 United States Senate race in Minnesota is one of the closest electoral

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