Are Americans confident their ballots are counted?
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.
Additional InformationCopyright © Southern Political Science Association 2008. Reprinted with permission. Manuscript submitted 24 July 2006. Manuscript accepted for publication 12 August 2007. We thank David Dutwin, Melissa Herrmann, and International Communications Research for assistance collecting the survey data reported in this article and Melissa Slemin for her assistance. We also thank the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the College of Social and Behavioral Science at the University of Utah, and the USC Annenberg Center for Communication for support of our data collection efforts and our research.
Published - ALVjp08.pdf
Accepted Version - ALVjp08preprint.pdf
Accepted Version - ALVjp08preprintappendix.pdf