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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

Internet Voting in Comparative Perspective: The Case of Estonia

Author(s): 
Alexander Treshsel
European University Institute in Florence
Italy
Journal: 
PS: Political Science & Politics
pp: 
497-505
Link to Article: 
Date Published: 
07/01/2009
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.

About the Voting Technology Project

Established by Caltech President David Baltimore and MIT President Charles Vest in December 2000 to prevent a recurrence of the problems that threatened the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election. Since establishment, members of the VTP have studied all aspects of the election process, both in the United States and abroad. VTP faculty, research affiliates, and students have written many working papers, published scores of academic articles and books, and worked on a great array of specific projects.

Voting - What Is, What Could Be

Date Published: 
07/01/2001
Author(s): 
Voting Technology Project
On December 15, 2000, the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced a collaborative project to develop new voting technology in order "to precent a recurrence of the problems that threatened the 2000 presidential election." The problems in the 2000 election go well beyond voting equipment. This report assesses the magnitude of the problems, their root causes, and how technology can reduce them.

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