Latest Research from the VTP

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

Bibliography of research literature on instant runoff voting

Working Paper No.: 
72
Date Published: 
02/01/2009
Author(s): 
Ines Levin
California Institute of Technology
Introduction This bibliography lists a diversity of publications related to Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). This voting method is a particular type of Single Transferable Vote (STV), applied in single-seat elections. † It is a sequential elimination voting procedure, and due to the use of ranked-ordered ballots, it belongs to the group of preferential-voting methods. It is also called Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) or Alternative Vote. One set of publications included in this bibliography is concerned with the impact of IRV, or runoff methods in general, on the party system, candidate

People Power or a One-Shot Deal? The Legacy of the Colored Revolutions Considered from a Collective Action Framework

Working Paper No.: 
5
Date Published: 
11/01/2007
Author(s): 
Joshua A. Tucker
New York University
***DRAFT IN PROGRESS.*** Introduction

The 2008 Presidential Primaries through the Lens of Prediction Markets

Working Paper No.: 
4
Author(s): 
Erik Snowberg
Caltech
Neil Malhotra
To explore the influence of primary results during the 2008 nomination process we leverage a previously unused methodology—the analysis of prediction market contracts. The unique structure of prediction markets allows us to address two unexplored questions. First, we analyze whether primary results affect candidates’ chances in the general election, as candidates who take strong positions during the nomination contest may be unable to easily appeal to centrist voters in the general election.

Detecting Fraud in America’s Gilded Age

Working Paper No.: 
2
Date Published: 
07/01/2008
Author(s): 
Gail Buttorff
University of Iowa
Abstract: This paper extends recent developments in election forensics to test for electoral fraud during a period of American history widely suspected to be ripe with fraud. It uses the second-digit Benford’s Law test in an effort to identify possible instances of election fraud during the Gilded Age—an era of highly competitive party politics. The study focuses on presidential and gubernatorial elections in Southern US states during the period from 1872 to 1896. The empirical results corroborate some of the extant historical anecdotes of electoral fraud during this period.

Can We Trust The Machines?

Author(s): 
Walter R. Mebane Jr.
Journal: 
Science Magazine
pp: 
322
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
10/31/2008
Since the 2000 U.S. presidential election, many have worked to increase voters’ confidence that election results are fair and correct. One theme from 2000 was that the technology used to record votes—especially punchcard ballots—was deficient and needed to be replaced. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 provided federal funds for states to acquire electronic voting machines or optically scanned paper ballots. New controversy arose when computer scientists and others complained that the recommended technologies were far from being up to the task. The

Fraud, Elections and the American Gene in Taiwan’s Democracy

Working Paper No.: 
1
Date Published: 
08/10/2008
Author(s): 
Lichun Chiang
Peter C. Ordeshook
Using several indicators that have been applied elsewhere to detect election fraud using official election returns, this essay takes close look at Taiwan’s three most recent presidential contests. However, rather than simply see if we can find evidence of fraud in those returns, we also see how close the patterns in the numbers mimic what we find in the United States and in this way offer a measure of the extent to which America’s “genetic gene” has taken root in Taiwan.

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