11/29/2004

Crooked Timber: Further Analysis of Electronic Voting Patterns

such a swing would be unusual but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen!

Crooked Timber: Further Analysis of Electronic Voting Patterns

putting in a dummy for Palm Beach and Broward Counties makes the significant effect of “etouch” (i.e., whether a county had electronic voting) go away. Now the only variables significant at conventional levels are the ones measuring the percentage voting for Bush in 2000. (Note that there’s also a hint of an effect for ‘Hispanic,’ as befits their ambiguous role in deciding the election.)1

So, all of the e-voting action is explained by two counties. The question is what’s happening in those counties. Andrew Gelman again:

One possibility, as suggested by Hout et al., is cheating, possibly set up ahead of time (e.g., by loading extra votes into the machines before the election or by setting it up to switch or not count some votes) … but an obvious alternative explanation is that, for various reasons, 3% more people in those counties preferred Bush in 2004, compared to 2000. As can be seen in the graphs above for 2000, 1996, and 1992, such a swing would be unusual (at least compared to recent history), but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen!

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