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Technology and Voter Intent: Evidence from the California Recall Election

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Author Info

  • Thomas S. Dee

    (Department of Economics, Swarthmore College, and NBER)

Abstract

Conventional evaluations of voting systems focus on ballots for which no vote can be recorded (that is, "residual" votes). However, recorded votes that misrepresent voter intent are another potentially important, but less easily measured, source of error. I present evidence that a nontrivial number of voters in the recent California recall election mistakenly voted for one of the four candidates positioned next to the two major candidates on the ballot. I also find that punch-card systems significantly increased the frequency of these errors. These results indicate that future assessments of voting technologies should consider their effects on both recorded and residual votes. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 89 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 674-683

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:89:y:2007:i:4:p:674-683

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Cited by:
  1. Kelly Shue & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2006. "Who Misvotes? The Effect of Differential Cognition Costs on Election Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Maarten Allers & Peter Kooreman, 2009. "More evidence of the effects of voting technology on election outcomes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 159-170, April.

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