Reports

Report to the Alexandria Board of Elections

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Thad E. Hall
During the 2002 general election, the Alexandria Board of Elections tested the Hart Intercivic eSlate voting system as a first step in determining how well an electronic voting system would work in the City of Alexandria. There are three key findings from the evaluation of this system.
  1. Alexandria voters are comfortable and satisfied with the current voting system that they have. Voters like the optical scan system and use it quite adeptly.

Challenges Facing the American Electoral System: Research Priorities for the Social Sciences

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Michael Traugott
Samuel Popkin
Nelson W. Polsby
This report summarizes the activities and findings of the National Research Commission on Elections and Voting, organized in October, 2004 by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) to serve as a scholarly resource for nonpartisan insight into challenges facing the American electoral process.

Towards Better Voting Technology Research: Building a Research-Industry Dialogue

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Voting Technology Project
On March 13, 2007, the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project convened a Voting Systems Vendor Workshop on the Caltech campus involving a small group of academics and representatives from the voting systems industry. As an outcome of this one-day event, we present the following report and recommendations. This event was supported by grants from The Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. We thank them for their support of our ongoing efforts.

Voting Technology and Uncounted Votes in the United States

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
Stephen Ansolabehere
We examine the relative performance of voting technologies by studying presidential, gubernatorial, and senatorial election returns across hundreds of counties in hte United States from 1988 to 2000. Relying on a fixed effects regression applied to an unbalanced panel of counties, we find that in presidential elections, traditional paper ballots produce the lowest rates of uncounted votes (i.e. "residual votes"), followed by optically scanned ballots, mechanical lever machines, direct register electronic machines (DREs), and punch cards.

Public Attitudes About Election Governance

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Thad E. Hall
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

Voting in Massachusetts

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
Charles Stewart III
Stephen Ansolabehere
Massachusetts avoided the most egregious shortcomings that dogged many other states in the 2000 presidential election. Perhaps for that reason, the Bay State has lagged behind most of the rest of the nation in reforming antiquated election practices and upgrading antiquated election technologies that confuse and frustrate voters. The result is tens of thousands of "lost votes" each statewide election--votes that could be recovered by adopting a range of sweeping and incremental reforms.

The Introduction of Voter Registration and Its Effect on Turnout

Date Published: 
11/30/2008
Author(s): 
David M. Konisky
Stephen Ansolabehere
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.

American Confidence in Electronic Voting and Ballot Counting: A Pre-Election Update

Date Published: 
11/03/2008
Author(s): 
Morgan Llewellyn
Thad E. Hall
R. Michael Alvarez
This study examines the confidence that voters have that their ballot was counted accurately in 2004 and the attitudes of the American public toward electronic voting. As many states and localities move to new—and often electronic—voting systems, understanding public confidence and public attitudes is critical for policy makers. This study includes several key findings:

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