Dave Howell and Skip Lupia of the National Election Studies sent me emails that explained the choice of items on the 2006 study. I want to share the central items with our readers, many of whom may be consumers of this study.
The NES went through a re-competition a few years back, and it no longer receives NSF funding for the midterm studies. The 2006 study was conducted as a “pilot”, meaning that it was primarily a vehicle to try out new question wordings, question experiments, etc., but not primarily to maintain the “core” items. As a consequence, because no one specifically requested items on non-precinct and early voting, none were included.
The NES has an open invitation for users to propose content in future studies. To do so, you have to register at the online commons. I plan to draft a brief proposal to return to the format of the 2004 voting items, but add a response category for “early in-person” voting.
I encourage interested readers to register in the commons, even if you don’t intend to propose questions. The NES is using the commons as a way for users to comment on the proposals which are made. This way, all of us in the election reform community can help shape the content of this important survey resource.