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Does HAVA Help the Have-Nots? U.S. Adoption of New Election Equipment, 1980-2008

29 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2008  

Daniel K. N. Johnson

Colorado College - Department of Economics and Business

Kristina M. Lybecker

Colorado College - Department of Economics & Business

Date Written: October 27, 2008

Abstract

During the tabulation of votes in the 2000 presidential election, the world was shocked at the technological inadequacy of electoral equipment in many parts of the US. In reaction to public dismay over "hanging chads", Congress quickly enacted the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), legislation to fund the acquisition of advanced vote-counting technology. However, the intention was to enable, rather than mandate, choices of new electoral equipment. This paper takes advantage of a unique historical opportunity to test whether electoral equipment follows the pattern predicted by well-established models of innovation diffusion, merging electoral data with census data on socioeconomic characteristics. We infer that fiscal constraints to acquisition are strong but are not the only limitations to technology adoption, particularly within certain types of easily identifiable populations.

Keywords: election, vote, innovation, diffusion, Help America Vote Act (HAVA), voting equipment

JEL Classification: H0, H1, K0, O33, O38, P11

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Daniel K. N. and Lybecker, Kristina M., Does HAVA Help the Have-Nots? U.S. Adoption of New Election Equipment, 1980-2008 (October 27, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1290871 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1290871

Daniel Kent Neil Johnson (Contact Author)

Colorado College - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

14 E Cache La Poudre Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
United States
719-389-6654 (Phone)
719-389-6927 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty1.coloradocollege.edu/~djohnson

Kristina M. Lybecker

Colorado College - Department of Economics & Business ( email )

14 E Cache La Poudre Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
United States
719-389-6445 (Phone)
719-389-6927 (Fax)

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