Electronic Elections: The Perils and Promises of Digital Democracy

By R. Michael Alvarez; Thad E. Hall | Go to book overview

has been truly a blessing for us and for the entire election community. Steve Ott and Ron Hrebenar at the University of Utah were also quite supportive of our work and agreed without hesitation to fund our initial study. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided critical support of the Voting Technology Project work and that financial assistance helped us in many ways. Melissa Herrmann and her staff at International Communication Research were incredibly helpful in the conduct of our survey research, suggesting better ways of presenting the data and ensuring that the questions we asked about electronic voting addressed the issues we wanted to address. We are both involved in the Election Assistance Commission's Vote Count and Vote Recount Study, and this effort has been very educational for us, illustrating the reality of state election laws. We have also benefited from the interesting discussions we have had with the commissioners and the staff of the commission.

Rick Green at the University of Utah provided Hall with course release time on short notice during the initial writing of the book. While we were finishing this book, Alvarez was a Senior Fellow at the Annenberg Center for Communication at the University of Southern California; that fellowship provided interesting colleagues, great coffee, and much-needed quiet time for reading and reflection. Thanks to Jonathan Aronson, Geoffrey Cowan, and Simon Wilkie.

We both have had the unique honor of being associated with universities that give us great colleagues and students. At Caltech, we appreciate the input, good humor, and support we have received from our colleagues Jonathan Katz, Rod Kiewiet, and Peter Ordeshook. And without great students to help us in our research, and to challenge us as we talk about our research and perspective, our work would suffer: we thank Caltech graduate students Delia Bailey, Morgan Llewellyn, Betsy Sinclair, and Catherine Wilson for their input into our work. Delia Bailey and Betsy Sinclair assisted with some of the analyses we discuss in later chapters, and also commented on early versions of this manuscript. Caltech undergraduates Erin Hartman and Dan Knoepfle also provided helpful discussions and input into our work. At the University of Utah, we thank Erin Peterson, an undergraduate who has been an incredible resource helping us in our research. Thanks as well to our colleagues from the VTP, especially Charles Stewart. We also thank Monica Kohler, Cindy Brown, and Shelley Kruger at the University of Utah, who helped us manage the Carnegie grant and internal grants that supported our work. Finally at Caltech, we have to thank two wonderful people without whose daily support and assistance we would not have managed to get any work done over the past few years: the good cheer and incredible administrative support offered by

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Electronic Elections: The Perils and Promises of Digital Democracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter 1 - What This Book is About 1
  • Chapter 2 - Paper Problems, Electronic Promises 12
  • Chapter 3 - Criticisms of Electronic Voting 30
  • Chapter 4 - The Frame Game 50
  • Chapter 5 - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back 71
  • Chapter 6 - The Performance of the Machines 100
  • Chapter 7 - Public Acceptance of Electronic Voting 133
  • Chapter 8 - A New Paradigm for Assessing Voting Technologies 156
  • Chapter 9 - Conclusion 178
  • Notes 191
  • Bibliography 207
  • Index 217
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