Election Data Formats: Our Middle Name By Kimball Brace, President Election Data Services, Inc.

Report
Election Data Formats:
Our Middle Name
By Kimball Brace, President
Election Data Services, Inc. October, 2009
Election Data Services, Inc.
• Been collecting and analyzing election returns
since 1977
• Kept track of voting equipment usage for nation
since 1980
• Compiled extensive databases of election results
and census demographics for redistricting in more
than half the nation over past 4 apportionments
• Testified in more than 75 court cases, many
concerning racial analysis of data
• Maintains County level database of election
returns for nation
• Contractor for EAC for their 2004 & 2006 Election
Day Survey, subcontractor for 2008
Overview
• Diversity in Elections – Basic Facts
• Data Elements
• Remaining Problems
Basic Election Administration Facts
• Diversity is the underpinning of Elections.
50 States
3,140 Counties
1,620 NE Townships
5,312 Midwest Townships
10,072 Election Jurisdictions
Basic Election Administration Facts
• Size is important to remember
− Question: What is the mean size of jurisdictions in
nation in terms of registration?
• 1,492 registered voters
− Over 1/3rd of nations’ counties have fewer than
10,000 registered voters in them
− Half of the nation’s counties have less than 16,000
registered voters
− Only 343 jurisdictions have more than 100,000
registered voters
− Only 14 counties have more than 1 million voters
• Smallest County: Loving County, Texas: 136 voters
• Largest County: Los Angeles, CA: 3.9 million voters
− Take 930 smallest counties to reach LA’s total.
Basic Election Administration Facts
Basic Election Administration Facts
Basic Election Administration Facts
• Elections are run in small jurisdictions
− With small staff
− Many of which are part-time or performing other
functions
• Reliance upon vendors for help
− Observation on data elements
The Election Process –
From a data element prospective
Total Population
Voting Age Population
Citizen Voting Age Population
Registration
Turnout
Votes for President
Other Statewide Offices
Congressional
State
Legislature
Turn-out
• Still don’t know total number of
people who participated in
2004 general election.
− Definitions of turn-out, ballots
cast, ballots counted.
903 Jurisdictions in 21 states
have same number of people turning
out,
as that voted for President of the US
2.5%
2.0%
Drop-Off Rate
(or Residual Votes)
Drop – off
• 2004 was lowest rate in post WWII history.
4.5%
4.0%
3.5%
3.0%
1.5%
1.0%
0.5%
0.0%
2006
2004
2002
2000
1998
1996
1994
1992
1990
1988
1986
1984
1982
1980
1978
1976
1974
1972
1970
1968
1966
1964
1962
1960
1958
1956
1954
1952
1950
1948
1946
Year
Residual Votes or Drop-off
• Difference between Total Turnout and Total Votes
for an office =
− Overvotes +
− Undervotes
• Normal elections
− Overvotes = 10% of residual vote
− Undervotes = 90% of residual vote
• Florida 2000 – opposite of above
− Problem of ballot design
• Problem is getting overs & unders
− Need for every office on ballot
Unrecorded Votes in the 2000 Presidential Election by Voting Equipment
Voting Technology
Punch Card – Votomatic
(28% of ballots)
Unrecorded Votes
2.8%
Optical Scan – Central Count
(15% of ballots)
1.8%
DRE (11% of ballots)
1.7%
Lever Machine
(15% of ballots)
1.6%
Paper Ballot (1% of ballots)
1.6%
Punch Card – Datavote
(3% of ballots)
1.2%
Mixed (6% of ballots)
1.1%
Optical Scan – Precinct Count
(20% of ballots)
0.9%
Current Problems
• Besides getting data & data elements
• Voting Equipment Change & Diversity
− Nearly 70% of jurisdictions changed VE since 2000
− Formerly, all voters in jurisdiction used same VE
• Now most jurisdictions have multiple voting systems
− In-precinct system different than absentee, early
2008 General Election
Current Problems
• Besides getting data & data elements
• Voting Equipment Change & Diversity
− Nearly 70% of jurisdictions changed VE since 2000
− Formerly, all voters in jurisdiction used same VE
• Now most jurisdictions have multiple voting systems
− In-precinct system different than absentee, early
• Method of Voting shifting, but not being reflected
in data
− Absentee, Early Voting, Disabled, Provisional
Thank you
Kimball Brace
President
Election Data Services, Inc.
6171 Emerywood Court
Manassas, VA 20112
(703-580-7267 or 202-789-2004)
[email protected]dataservices.com or
[email protected]
www.electiondataservices.com

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