Helping Hispanic-America Vote? Ballot Technology, Voter Fatigue and HAVA 2002

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Finance, Real Estate, and Business Law


Lott (2009) finds that nonvoted ballot rates for down-ballot races are greater than those for presidential races, and newer technologies that reduce nonvoted presidential ballots create even greater rates of nonvoting down-ballot than the same older voting technologies. The conclusion is momentous: adopting voting technologies that minimize under-voting in presidential races actually increases under-voting across all races on the same ballot. This study extends Lott's by examining the Congressional vote on the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA 2002), which established a program to provide funds to states in order to replace punch card voting systems with newer technologies. We focus on the racial component of Lott's finding, specifically that Hispanic-American voters exhibit greater rates of voter fatigue than do white voters. This study posits that, given the large Hispanic-American populations in California and Texas and their propensity to support Democrats in these states, House Democrats from these states would not view the HAVA 2002 as favourably as House Democrats from other parts of the US. Among other results presented here, the data show that support for HAVA 2002 among California and Texas House Democrats was 11.6 percentage points below that of House Democrats from the other 48 states.

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Applied Economics





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