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Poll Workers and the Vitality of Democracy: An Early Assessment

  • Thad Hall (a1), J. Quin Monson (a2) and Kelly D. Patterson (a2)

The aftermath of the 2000 election has been a time of constant learning in regards to election administration in the United States. Both scholars and policy makers initially focused primarily on voting technology and on which voting technologies were best at capturing votes. In early 2001, the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project developed the “residual vote” metric; numerous studies have since examined residual vote rates across different voting platforms. Congressional reform of elections—exemplified in the “Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002” (P.L. 107-252)—also focused largely on voting technology, with HAVA imposing new standards for voting equipment and providing states with one-shot funding to aid in its purchase.Authors are listed alphabetically. The data collection in Cuyahoga County, Ohio was funded by the Election Science Institute (ESI) through a contract with the Cuyahoga County Commission. We are grateful to Steven Hertzberg of ESI for his assistance in the data collection. The Utah poll-worker survey was funded by the Institute of Public and International Affairs (IPIA) at the University of Utah. Steven Snell of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy (CSED) at Brigham Young University provided valuable research assistance for this project.

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Alvarez, R. Michael, Stephen Ansolabehere, and Charles Stewart III 2005. “Studying Elections: Data Quality and Pitfalls in Measuring of Effects of Voting Technologies.” Policy Studies Journal 33 (1): 1524.

Alvarez, R. Michael, and Thad E. Hall. 2006. “Controlling Democracy: The Principal-agent Problems in Election Administration.” Policy Studies Journal 34 (4): 491510.

Stewart III, Charles. 2006. “Changes in the Residual Vote Rates Between 2000 and 2004.” Election Law Journal 5 (2): 15869.

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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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