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electionlineWeekly--May 12, 2011

Table of Contents

IV. Research and Report Summaries

electionline provides brief summaries of recent research and reports in the field of election administration. Please e-mail links to research to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Voting Technology, Vote-by-Mail, and Residual Votes in California, 1990-2010 - R. Michael Alvarez, Caltech, Charles Stewart III, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Dustin Beckett, Caltech, Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project, May 5, 2011: The authors examine 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. In the state’s presidential elections, jurisdictions that got rid of punch cards and shifted to optical scanners saw improved residual vote rates. Yet some voting systems, like the InkaVote system in Los Angeles, had mixed success – for example performing well in presidential and gubernatorial races but poorly in Senate races. The research also found that the greater use of mail to cast ballots led to a rise in residual votes, to the point where voting by mail in California has mostly wiped out the reductions in residual votes due to improved voting technologies since the early 1990s.

A Survey and Analysis of Statewide Election Recounts, 2000-2009 - Rob Richie and Emily Hellman, FairVote, April 2011: Examining data from 2000-2009, researchers at FairVote find that statewide election recounts are rare, recounts that change election results are even rarer, and shifts in vote differences are small.

Election Day Voter Registration in California - R. Michael Alvarez, California Institute of Technology and Jonathan Nagler, New York University, prepared for Demos, Spring 2011: This analysis assesses the likely impact of the implementation of election day voter registration in California and concludes overall turnout could increase by 4.8 percent, turnout for 18 to 25 year-olds could increase by 9 percent, and turnout for Latinos and newly-naturalized citizens could each increase by 5.1 percent.

Vote Fraud Allegations in Hamilton County May, 2010 Primary Election – Office of the Indiana Secretary of State, October 2010: Late last week the current Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White (R), released a report compiled by the office of former Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita (R) which reviewed, at the request of the state Democratic Party, the circumstances of the election of White. Specifically the report reviews information pertaining to the allegation that Secretary White maintained a registration and voted in a precinct in which he was not a resident.

The Canvass: States and Election Reform - National Conference of State Legislature, May 2011: This month’s issue examines when and how primary elections are held, and describes research focusing on the health of New Mexico’s election administration.