The Help America Vote Act in the 2006 general election : provisional ballots and overvoting
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) seeks to improve election administration by providing the states with funds to upgrade their voting machines, creates the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), mandates requirements in election administration practices such as the creation and maintenance of computerized voter registration rolls and the development of clear provisional ballot standards, and amends and improves military and overseas voting laws. It is not immediately clear, though, how effective HAVA has been at achieving these goals. Using data from the EAC's 2006 Election Administration and Voting Survey as well as data from the Democratic National Committee's voter file, this study looks specifically at the provisional ballot rate and the number of overvotes per county in the 2006 general election. Tobit regression methods are used to examine how effective HAVA has been at improving election outcomes on these metrics for minority voters. In spite of significant data quality issues, this analysis finds that the strongest predictors of the provisional ballot rate are the change in proportion of registered voters age 65 or older, the number of polling places, the number of new registrants, and whether or not the state previously had a form of provisional balloting. The strongest predictors of the number of overvotes are the number of polling places and precincts, and use of DRE ballot machines; the African American turnout rate is also significant, though less strongly.
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