I just received this report, “November 2006 General Election Paper Voting Trail Exit Poll Study.” The report discusses exit poll data collected by the Survey Research Center at the University of Georgia, working with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. Here is the executive summary of the report:
On November 7, 2006, the Survey Research Center at the University of Georgia, in conjunction with the Office of the Secretary of State of Georgia, conducted an exit poll at three selected Georgia election precinct to assess voter satisfaction and confidence in a paper trail electronic voting system. Exit pollsters counted a total of 1,935 voters exiting the polls throughout the day of November 8th and successfully interviewed 459 voters. The response interview rate was thus 23.7, well below expectations. However, the distribution of voters interviewed matched demographic characteristics of each precinct extremely well, boosting confidence that a representative sample of voters was obtained. Assuming the 459 voters interviewed represent a random sample of all voters in the three precincts the maximum estimated theoretical sampling margin of error would +/- 4.6% at the 95 percent confidence interval.
• 99.3% of voters interviewed reported noticing that the electronic voting machine used on November 8th printed a paper trail showing their voter choice.
• 95.6% of voters reported that the paper trail voting system was easy to use.
• 89.3% of voters reported having previously voted on Georgia’s electronic touch screen voting units.
• 35.7% of voters found the paper trail voting system to be easier than the electronic-only voting system, while 56.7% reported there was no difference between the two. Only 7.6% of voters reported that the paper trail was not easier than the electronic-only voting system.
• A majority (51.3%) of voters reported that the paper trail voting system took no longer to vote than the electronic only system, while 19.4% reported no difference, and 29.3% reported it took longer to vote with the paper trail voting system.
• Only 3.5% of voters reported having problems printing the paper trail, with half of those reporting the problem was the length of time it took to print the ballot. Only 2.6% of voters reported having any problems reading the paper trail, with half of these voters reporting that the print was too small.
• 43.7% of voters reported that poll workers were able to assist them if they experienced any technical problems while voting, and 54.4% of voters reported experiencing no technical problems while voting. Only 1.8% of voters reported poll workers were not able to assist them with technical problems experienced while voting. Non-white voters were significantly more likely than white voters (49.2% versus 37.2%) to report that poll workers were not able to assist them with technical problems experienced while voting.
• 87.7% of voters described their overall experience voting on election day as good, while 10.9% reported fair, and only 1.3% poor.
• 86.9% of voters reported being either very confident or somewhat confident in the accuracy and security of the touch screen voting units, and 89.4% reported being very confident or somewhat confident in the paper trail voting system used on election day. Non-white voters were significantly more likely to report not being confident in the accuracy and security of the touch screen voting units (12.9% non-white versus 5.9% white), and significantly more likely to report not being confident in the paper trail voting system used on election day (6.8% non-white versus 2.2% white). Female voters were significantly more likely than male voters to report confidence in the accuracy and security of the touch screen units.
• 82.4% of voters favored adding a reviewable paper trail like the one used on election day to Georgia’s voting system, while only 5.9% opposed a paper trail system, and 7.3% were not sure. 4.4% reported having no opinion on the matter.
• 79.1% of voters reported reviewing their paper trail, and 95.9% reported the paper trail was easy to read. Non-white voters were significantly more likely to report reviewing their paper trail than were white voters (84.6% non-white versus 70.8% white).
• 99.8% of voters reported that the paper trail reviewed correctly reflected the ballot choices the voter selected.