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Technology and Voter Intent: Evidence from the California Recall Election

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  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas S. Dee, 2007. "Technology and Voter Intent: Evidence from the California Recall Election," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 674-683, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:89:y:2007:i:4:p:674-683
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    Cited by:

    1. Gani Aldashev & Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2010. "Invalid Ballots and Electoral Competition," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 153, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    2. Kelly Shue & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2009. "Who Misvotes? The Effect of Differential Cognition Costs on Election Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 229-257, February.
    3. Allers, M. & Kooreman, P., 2009. "More evidence on the effects of voting technology on election outcomes," Other publications TiSEM 76b3f561-a37f-4a29-bfd9-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. 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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