Research Reports


A Survey and Analysis of Statewide Election Recounts, 1980-2006

Posted on August 13, 2009

This report examines statewide election recount outcomes and practices in the United States, using data from the decade of elections taking place in the years 2000 to 2009. Our findings provide a basis for observations on when recounts are necessary, provisions for model state laws on recounts and forecasts of recount scenarios in elections governed by a national popular vote.

Read more

Get 'Em (Ready to Vote) While They're Young

Posted on August 13, 2009

A movement is growing within the states to swing the doors of our democracy wide open, encouraging and facilitating the active participation of young people in the electoral process.

Read more

Delegating Democracy

Posted on August 11, 2009

Our presidential nominating system is in need of a major overhaul. Incremental changes, like instituting instant runoff voting or expanding suffrage rights for young people would be a positive start, but more sweeping reform is required to transform the process into what we can truly call "democracy." The calendar needs a facelift, the superdelegates need some directions and the people need to have a greater voice in deciding their parties' nominee for President.

Read more


Universal Voter Registration: An International Perspective

Posted on June 28, 2009

The United States is one of the few democracies in the world where the government does not take any responsibility in registering its citizens. This one-of-a-kind, self-initiated voter registration process acts as a major barrier to voter turnout and leads to often inaccurate voter rolls.

Read more

Fuzzy Math: Wrong Way Reforms for Allocating Electoral College Votes

Posted on June 28, 2009

This updated analysis (first published in 2007) analyzes two of the three major options available to state leaders interested in reforming how a state allocates its Electoral College votes: the whole number proportional system and congressional district system. It evaluates them on the basis of whether they promote majority rule, make elections more nationally competitive, reduce incentives for partisan machinations and make all votes count equally. Our analysis reveals that both of these methods fail to meet our criteria and fall far short of the National Popular Vote plan, which is the third major option available to reformers.

Read more


2008's Shrinking Battleground and Its Stark Impact on Campaign Activity

Posted on December 03, 2008

Both major party candidates in the 2008 presidential election made an ambitious promise upon effectively securing their party’s nominations —to wage nationwide campaigns and reach out to as many voters in as many states as possible. But the candidate's good intentions were undercut by the political reality created by the current Electoral College system and states’ use of the winner-take-all rule. Under that winner-take-all rule, candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize or pay attention to the concerns of states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind.

Read more

International Snapshot: Scotland 2007

Posted on July 10, 2007

On May 3, 2007, Scottish voters used two proportional voting systems simultaneously: for the first time ever, choice voting (or the single transferable vote) for local councils, and once again, mixed member proportional voting for the Scottish Parliament. The local council elections saw increased participation and broadly representative results. Despite the first-time use of choice voting alongside a completely different voting system, error rates were, on average, remarkably low. The MMP elections ensured proportionality in seat shares and arguably prevented a wrong-winner result. There was early controversy over error rates allegedly around 10%, but actual error rates were lower. Later research moreover confirmed that voter error was due to critical ballot design flaws.

Read more

Join Us Today to Help Create a More Perfect Union