Enhanced Election Day Survey

Up here at Reed College, we have been working on the Enhanced Election Day Survey project, and I have some updates to share with readers of the blog.

The 2004 Election Day Survey was administered by the Election Assistance Commission, as part of their mandate from Congress to improve election administration nationwide. The EDS is something of a census of election jurisdictions in the United States, including a wealth of information on turnout, rates of early voting, use of electoral machinery, and appearance of electoral irregularities.

However, the EDS has some problems. The EAC encountered some data reporting issues. Some questions have a large amount of missing data. And the dataset was distributed in a format that made it difficult to analyze.

We received funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York in order to take the EDS, plug some major gaps in the data, produce a codebook, produce a web-based interface to analyze the data, and supplement the dataset with demographic and contextual information.

The enhanced EDS will make is possible to ask questions like:

  • Are early voting levels responsive to differences in average income, education, urbanization?
  • Are electoral irregularities more common in particular kinds of jurisdictions made up of certain kinds of voters or in particular kinds of campaigns?
  • Are provisional ballots more frequently rejected in some jurisdiction and not others?

Interested users can review the current codebook and dataset at the Early Voting Information Center. The dataset is not much different at this point from the version that Thad and Mike converted a few months ago, except that we have created variable names, labels, and corrected some missing data problems.

We’re looking for suggestions about what we should do over the next two months, when our grant runs out. So email us at earlyvoting@gmail.com. We look forward to your input!