I am no fan of the Oregon law that allows third parties to collect and deliver ballots. But the law is the law, and apparently some election officials and members of law enforcement don’t understand the law.
Fact is, however, this remains legal in Oregon, and the state legislature refuses to change the law because politicians want to have their campaigners collect ballots. I don’t like it, it makes Oregon almost unique, and I’ve been trying to get the law changed. I blogged about it two years ago
I don’t like what the canvassers did in West Linn, but it is legal.
P.S. I don’t want to defend Rep. Julie Parrish who is in hot water over some robocalls questioning voters’ registration status, but the WWeek reference to her Facebook page is inaccurate–she correctly states that third party ballot collection is legal, just in her opinion, the canvassers must have broken the law because:
Come on now…..if the police made them take the ballot back…that should say something to you….I believe the West Linn PD over the House Democrats Spokesperson….
This should answer a few reporters’ questions. Courtesy of Michael McDonald’s website. Blank states do not mean no early voting–it means there is no data or insufficient data that I felt comfortable plotting the information.
Courtesy of Jacob Canter, Reed junior and late night Stata learner …
The map was produced using the spmap add-on to Stata.
These data are “fresh” as of end of day Friday, and downloaded from the Secretary of State’s website.
Really superb new piece by Ansolabehere and Hersh in the forthcoming Political Analysis. While the underlying technology is pretty fierce, Steve and Eitan do an excellent job, I think, in making the material accessible. Anyone who has been skeptical about survey self-reports should read the paper–it provides optimism and pessimism on both sides.
From the abstract:
Social scientists rely on surveys to explain political behavior. From consistent overreporting of voter turnout, it is evident that responses on survey items may be unreliable and lead scholars to incorrectly estimate the correlates of participation. Leveraging developments in technology and improvements in public records, we conduct the first-ever fifty-state vote validation. We parse overreporting due to response bias from overreporting due to inaccurate respondents. We find that nonvoters who are politically engaged and equipped with politically relevant resources consistently misreport that they voted. This finding cannot be explained by faulty registration records, which we measure with new indicators of election administration quality. Respondents are found to misreport only on survey items associated with socially desirable outcomes, which we find by validating items beyond voting, like race and party. We show that studies of representation and participation based on survey reports dramatically misestimate the differences between voters and nonvoters.
It’s currently free access at http://pan.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/4/437.abstract
Charles Stewart has been updating the Florida early voting returns on a daily basis, so I’m not going to reproduce his work here. Readers will have to be satisfied with a lame bar chart.
Getting to the Florida files proves to be a lot more complicated than North Carolina. Florida is probably the second-easiest state to work with, so that tells you how difficult, opaque, and at times expensive it can be to work with voter files. I look forward to a day where states agree upon common data formats or at least to make voter files more readily accessible.
The first challenge in Florida is that 67 separate early voting files need to be “harvested” from the Elections website. This is more complicated than it might appear at first blush, but web harvesting is an important skill for anyone who works with data from the web.
The attached PowerPoint illustrates the steps, including some power user Unix commands to quickly manipulate the files using the terminal window. These steps can be performed using a graphic user interface in Windows or on a Mac, but, like web harvesting, anyone who manipulates data files of this size and number needs to learn (or relearn) the command line.
Processing the files in Stata turns out to be relatively simple–the files are all formatted the same way. Click here for the do file.