Title

Verifying Voter Registration Records: Part of Special Symposium on Election Sciences

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-2020

Subject Area

ARRAY(0x557374e22810)

Abstract

This study investigates the reliability of Florida’s voter registration files through a phone survey, asking respondents to verify their records. We find 17.7% of registrants fail to verify at least one identifying piece of information. Applying the total survey error (TSE) framework, we classify these errors as due to coverage error, measurement error, or processing error. These inconsistencies create election administration and campaign inefficiencies, which lead to poorer voter experiences, and challenge the validity of some research based on these data. Furthermore, if registration records do not accurately capture the members of protected groups, the data are less helpful in both government monitoring and enforcement. We suggest voter registration forms should be treated like survey questionnaires so as to improve data quality with better form design, and that some vote overreport bias is attributable to limitations of voter file data, not to respondents’ vote misreporting.

Publication Title

American Politics Research

Volume

48

Issue

6

First Page

677

Last Page

681

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1177/1532673X20920261

ISSN

1532673X

E-ISSN

15523373

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