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Voided Ballot in the 1996 Presidential Election: A County-Level Analysis

Knack, Stephen and Kropf, Martha (2003): Voided Ballot in the 1996 Presidential Election: A County-Level Analysis. Published in: Journal of Politics , Vol. 65, No. 3 (August 2003): pp. 881-897.

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This county-level study examines factors associated with the rate of voided presidential ballots in the 1996 elections. Evidence indicates that voided ballots are significantly more prevalent in counties with higher percentages of African Americans and Hispanics. The relationship between voided ballots and African Americans disappears, however, in counties using voting equipment that can be programmed to eliminate overvoting. The rate of voided ballots is lower in larger counties, and in counties with a higher percentage of high school graduates. The rate of voided ballots declines as the number of presidential candidates on the ballot increases, but only up to a point, and then rises with further increases. Lever machines generate the lowest rates of voided ballots among types of voting equipment, with punch card systems generating the highest rates.

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