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National Disability Voter Registration Week

elections / voting / blog / featured
This is National Disability Voter Registration Week and it is vital to highlight some data showing the importance of registering voters with disabilities. The best data on this topic comes from the U.S. Census Bureau. In November of every even-numbered year, the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) conducts a Voting and Registration Supplement. This supplement asks individuals if they were registered to vote in 2016 and if they voted. It includes follow up questions asking individuals who were not registered to vote the main reason why they were not as well as non-voters why they did not vote. In the following analysis, I use six questions posed by the Census Bureau in the CPS regarding disability to study voter registration by individuals... more
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Three Changes to the Landscape of U.S. Military and Overseas Voting—2012 versus 2016

elections / voting / blog / military / featured
Imagine you are a young sailor in the U.S. Navy, and you’re deployed out on a ship for several months. Others on your ship have been talking about an important presidential election that’s coming up, but you’re worried that you won’t be able to vote because you won’t be home before Election Day. How are you going to cast a vote from the middle of the ocean? And are there resources available to help make sure your vote is counted? The Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act, or UOCAVA, provides special absentee voting requirements for these and other covered individuals to ensure that their right to vote remains intact, no matter how far away they are located from their voting jurisdiction during an election.... more
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The Dynamic Changes in American Elections – 2012 to 2016

elections / voting / featured
American elections can change dramatically between presidential elections. Some of these changes were driven by political campaigns, with some states being more competitive than others in a given election; however, many of these changes were the result of new laws and policies that affect election administration. The U.S. Election Process According to the Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) 2016 Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS), total turnout in the United States increased from 131.6 million in 2012 to 140.1 million in 2016 and the percentage of the citizen voting age population (CVAP) voting increased from 59.2 percent to 63 percent. In fact, five states—Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Oregon—reported turnout rates exceeding 70 percent of... more
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To Really Address Fraud Claims, Conduct Comprehensive Election Audits

elections / current events / featured / voting / in the news
Recently, President Donald Trump said that Vice President Mike Pence will head up a commission to investigate voting irregularities and possible fraud, especially related to voter registration. Examining elections to identify fraud requires in-depth election audits—a methodological examination of the processes and procedures that states and localities use to manage their elections, with all of their complexities. An audit looks at the process used to implement each aspect of an election, the personnel and how they are trained to implement the processes, and only then examining the bottom line—the numbers and the performance of the election. In our books Confirming Elections and Evaluating Elections, my collaborators and I wrote about how to audit a popular election and how to evaluate election administration.... more
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Electronic Voting Improvements for Military Members Living Overseas

voting / data security / blog / elections / research
I recently wrote about how basic policy improvements can improve the voting process for all Americans living overseas. In December 2016, the Overseas Voting Initiative (OVI), a collaboration between the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) and The Council of State Governments, released a set of recommendations focused on using technology to improve the voting process for Americans abroad. The product of significant research, two notable recommendations focus on:
  • Using Department of Defense Common Access Cards (CACs) for signing documents digitally;
  • Duplicating damaged or unreadable ballots;
Policies Leading To Change These recommendations reflect the new reality of elections in the United States – especially for American overseas voters. Two major policy changes have driven the need for these recommendations. First, in... more
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Strategies for Engaging Every Voter

elections / government / military research / current events / featured
I recently wrote an article for the Washington Post about actions that State and local election officials can take to improve public confidence in elections. Voters want information – they want to know what is going on with the administration of elections so that the process is transparent. Council of State Governments Overseas Voting Initiative’s Policy Working Group Today, the Council of State Governments is releasing a report from its Overseas Voting Initiative’s Policy Working Group The report titled, "Overseas Voting: Strategies for Engaging Every Voter," that contains policy recommendations for improving the voting experience for U.S. military voters and citizens living abroad. The recommendations in the... more
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These Findings About Voter Confidence Among Traditional Voters Can also Apply to UOCAVA Voters

news / military / featured / elections / voting
In the Washington Post’s 'Monkey Cage' blog, I coauthored a post on how effective election administration can improve voter confidence. This post was backed up by a wealth of research my academic colleagues and I have conducted on voter confidence and election administration over the years. Bottom line: from our many years of past research, we’ve found that most voters already are confident that their ballots are counted accurately – but "…that confidence can be improved or harmed by how state and local election officials manage elections". Election ballot Although our work has focused on traditional voting in polling places, the lessons learned from this research can be applied to the voting process for the overseas... more
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Is Direct Mail Dead? Not So, Say Millennials

youth / millennials / elections / voting / generational research / in the news / featured
As a Millennial, I know firsthand how much my generation relies on the digital world as an information source. So when I read that 42% of Millennials prefer political mail over digital forms, I went straight to the source of the statistic to find out more: a white paper recently released by the United States Postal Service (USPS) , which summarizes the results of a survey and series of focus groups concerning Millennials’ attitudes and perceptions about political mail. While there is a plethora of research to support how digitally inclined (or even dependent) Millennials are, the USPS study is unique in that it captures the behaviors of Millennials from a different angle. Results suggest that grabbing the attention of Millennials through digital... more
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Overseas Citizens Can Vote – No Matter Where They Are: Military & Their Families

featured / voting / elections / military research / current events
Armed Forces Voters Week is happening now – June 27-July 5. As communities of friends, supporters or employers of Service members, spread the word about the resources available to make it easy for overseas U.S. citizens and Service members to register and vote. Help make sure their vote is counted! Members of our Armed Forces protect our freedoms and liberties. One of those cherished freedoms is the right to vote – and Service members and their families can exercise that right from wherever they are stationed around the world. Fors Marsh Group has worked with the agencies dealing with military recruiting and retention since its founding, and we’ve studied voting processes and patterns of voting – especially voting by military personnel – for years. We... more
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Tomorrow is Super Tuesday - do you feel pressure to vote?

featured / voting / elections / public perception / social psychology
The New York Times wrote recently about so called "vote shaming" mailers that had been sent to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire by one of the Republican candidates (or their surrogates). These mailers show the voting record of the individual and their neighbors and inform the recipient that an updated mailing will be sent after the election showing who voted and who did not. The idea is that a person will be motivated to vote to avoid a perception of dereliction of duty by members of their community. Without wading into the politics of the issue - whether a political candidate should send out the exact fliers that have been sent to voters - it is interesting to consider the actual... more
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