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Journal Article

Are Americans Confident Their Ballots Are Counted?

R. Michael Alvarez, Thad E. Hall and Morgan H. Llewellyn
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 70, No. 3 (Jul., 2008), pp. 754-766
DOI: 10.1017/s0022381608080730
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1017/s0022381608080730
Page Count: 13
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Are Americans Confident Their Ballots Are Counted?
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Abstract

Building on the literature that investigates citizen and voter trust in government, we analyze the topic of voter confidence in the American electoral process. Our data comes from two national telephone surveys where voters were asked the confidence they have that their vote for president in the 2004 election was recorded as intended. We present preliminary evidence that suggests confidence in the electoral process affects voter turnout. We then examine voter responses to determine the overall level of voter confidence and analyze the characteristics that influence the likelihood a voter is confident that their ballot was recorded accurately. Our analyses indicate significant differences in the level of voter confidence along both racial and partisan lines. Finally, we find voter familiarity with the electoral process, opinions about the electoral process in other voting precincts, and both general opinions about voting technology and the specific technology the voter uses significantly affect the level of voter confidence.

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