UOCAVA Report and data released

The Election Assistance Commission’s UOCAVA report and data have been released and are available here: http://www.eac.gov/research/uocava_studies.aspx

The data are released in DBF (three files), XLS, and Spss “sav” file formats.  My first glance indicates that it should be straightforward to link the files to the NVRA data the FIPSCODE variable.

The headline of the EAC press release trumpets the 93.2% success rates for ballots–meaning that percent of ballots cast were counted.

That’s the good news.  The less good news is that the number of ballots transmitted dropped nearly 40% from 2008.  By comparison, turnout among the general public, according to figures compiled by Michael McDonald, dropped 34%.

Use of the Federal Write In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) remains tiny–only 2% of total UOCAVA ballots (4294) and of all FWABs, 16% are being rejected.  Something is up, either with the format of the FWAB, the instructions, or something else that is causing voter error.  (Unfortunately, the questionnaire does not break down the reasons for reject by regular absentee vs. FWAB).

Finally, response rates in some areas are down slightly from the high rates in 2008, while response rates in other areas are up (see pg. 4 of the report).  I generated that table in 2008, and I’m glad to see they repeated it since getting response rates at 90% or above are critical to a high quality data collection effort.