Latest Research from the VTP

Voting Technology, Vote-by-Mail, and Residual Votes in California, 1990-2010

Working Paper No.: 
105
Date Published: 
05/05/2011
Author(s): 
R. Michael Alvarez
Caltech
Charles Stewart III
This paper examines how the growth in vote-by-mail and changes in voting technologies led to changes in the residual vote rate in California from 1990 to 2010. We find that in California’s presidential elections, counties that abandoned punch cards in favor of optical scanning enjoyed a significant improvement in the residual vote rate. However, these findings do not always translate to other races.

Voting Technologies

Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
MIT
Journal: 
Annual Review of Political Science
pp: 
353-378
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
05/01/2011
A renewed, energetic interest in voting technologies erupted in political science following the 2000 presidential election. Spawned initially by the recount controversy in Florida, the literature has grown to consider the effects of voting technologies on the vote choice more generally. This literature has explained why localities have the voting technologies (lever machines, punch cards, etc.) they use.

Partisan Bias in Evaluating U.S. Elections during the HAVA Decade: A Natural Experiment

Date Published: 
04/01/2011
Author(s): 
Shaun Bowler
University of California
Riverside
Controversies over the conduct of elections prompted a variety of reform efforts during the last decade, notably The Help America Vote Act. HAVA and state-level measures like California's Voting Modernization Bond Act allowed local governments to replace obsolete election equipment with more technologically advanced voting machines. The machinery of democracy appears to affect voter confidence in elections. However, these judgments are also associated with party identification and other voter characteristics.

Disputed Elections Post Bush v. Gore: Are Federal Courts Entering the Political Contest Thicket?

Working Paper No.: 
17
Date Published: 
04/16/2011
Author(s): 
Mark Braden
Of Counsel
Baker Hostetler
Introduction

The Cites That Counted: A Decade of Bush v. Gore Jurisprudence

Working Paper No.: 
16
Date Published: 
04/16/2011
Author(s): 
Charles Anthony Smith
University of California - Irvine
Introduction When the Supreme Court issued the opinion that resolved the 2000 presidential election in George W. Bush’s favor, the five justice coalition responsible for the decision went to great lengths to stress that the opinion should not be construed as an explication or expansion of any legal doctrine or concept. The per curium opinion, presumably authored by Chief Justice Rehnquist, specifically tried to narrow the applicability of the legal reasoning that resolved the equal protection claim by including the following passage:

What Hath HAVA Wrought? Consequences, Intended and Not, of the Post-Bush v. Gore Reforms

Working Paper No.: 
102
Date Published: 
04/07/2011
Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
MIT
The Help America Vote Act (HAVA)1 is the most important direct federal response to the 2000 electoral fiasco in Florida. HAVA had many provisions, some directly inspired by the controversy, others that came along for the ride. In addition to mandating certain changes in how states conducted federal elections, HAVA appropriated $3b for the improvement of voting systems, most of which went to purchase new voting machines.

Bush v. Gore: A critical Juncture for early voting?

Working Paper No.: 
15
Date Published: 
04/16/2011
Author(s): 
Paul Gronke
Reed College and Early Voting Information Center
James Hicks
The title of this conference, "10 Years after Bush v. Gore," implies that the papers and discussions will focus on the impact of the 2000 election, the Court decision, and subsequent controversy on elections, election law, and election administration. But this call raised for us a basic question: what precisely is BvG? At the simplest level, BvG means George W. Bush, et al. v. Albert Gore, Jr., et al. (531 U.S. 98, 121 S. Ct. 525), a United States Supreme Court decision issued on December 8, 2000.

Absentee Ballot Regimes: Easing Costs or Adding a Step?

Working Paper No.: 
14
Date Published: 
04/17/2011
Author(s): 
Jan E. Leighley
American University
Jonathan Nagler
There has been a revolution in voting in the United States in the last 40 years. In 1972 voters in only 2 states had the option to request an absentee ballot without showing cause. In 2008, 27 states allowed voters this opportunity. In 1972 voters in 45 out of 50 states who were voting at a polling place did so on election day. In 2008, voters in 31 states could cast in-person votes on multiple days (not withstanding the suggestion of the constitution that election day is the tuesday after the first monday of November).

Poll Workers and Polling Places

Working Paper No.: 
104
Date Published: 
04/16/2011
Author(s): 
Kathleen Moore
University of Utah
Thad E. Hall
In the year after the 2000 presidential election debacle in Florida, there was a sharp focus by many organizations, commissions, and interest groups to determine how to address the problems associated with ensuring that the events of November 2000 did not occur again (e.g., Carter and Ford 2001; VTP 2001). Not surprisingly, the discussion of these entities focused strongly around two important issues. First, there was a sharp focus on the issues related to voting technologies.

Making Outsiders' Votes Count: Detecting Electoral Fraud through a Natural Experiment

Working Paper No.: 
12
Date Published: 
02/26/2011
Author(s): 
Kentaro Fukumoto
Gakushuin University
Yusaku Horicuchi
Weak electoral registration requirements are commonly thought to encourage electoral participation, but may also promote electoral fraud. For one, candidates and their supporters can more easily mobilize voters outside the district to register and vote for the candidates, even though these voters do not reside within the district. We statistically detect this classic type of electoral fraud for the first time, by taking advantage of a natural experimental setting in Japanese municipal elections.

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