More new research on voter turnout: Hur and Achen in POQ on “Coding Voter Turnout Responses in the CPS”

Well, when it rains it pours!

Just as I got done writing the post earlier today on the new paper by Hanmer et al. on voter turnout I discovered that a new paper by Aram Hur and Christopher H. Achen was just published in Public Opinion Quarterly. The Hur and Achen paper discusses an important issue that has long been noted by students of voter turnout in the United States: assumptions that the CPS makes about non-responses to their voter turnout question, how they code those non-responses, and what implications those assumptions and coding decisions have for the levels of turnout that CPS reports.

Here’s the abstract of the Hur and Achen paper, “Coding Voter Turnout Responses in the Current Population Survey”:

The Voting and Registration Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) employs a large sample size and has a very high response rate, and thus is often regarded as the gold standard among turnout surveys. In 2008, however, the CPS inaccurately estimated that presidential turnout had undergone a small decrease from 2004. We show that growing nonresponse plus a long-standing but idiosyncratic Census coding decision was responsible. We suggest that to cope with nonresponse and overreporting, users of the Voting Supplement sample should weight it to reflect actual state vote counts.

This paper should be on the reading list of anyone who uses CPS voter turnout data in their research.