One Person, One Vote: Estimating the Prevalence of Double Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections

American Political Science Review, Volume 114, Issue 2, May 2020, pp. 456 - 469

78 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2021

See all articles by Sharad Goel

Sharad Goel

Stanford University

Marc Meredith

University of Pennsylvania

Michael Morse

University of Chicago Law School

David M. Rothschild

Microsoft Research

Houshmand Shirani-Mehr

Stanford University - Department of Management Science & Engineering

Date Written: May 23, 2019

Abstract

There are about three million cases in a national voter fie in which 2012 vote records share a common first name, last name, and date of birth. We develop a probabilistic birthdate model to estimate how many of these cases represent the same person voting twice. If registration records are never erroneously marked as being used to vote, we estimate about 0.02% of the votes cast in 2012 were double votes. An audit of poll books, however, suggests that such measurement error could explain many of these apparent double votes. Using data returned to Iowa by the Interstate Crosscheck Program, we quantify the tradeoff between voter accessibility and electoral integrity when purging a likely duplicate registration from another state. We find that one of Crosscheck's proposed purging strategies would eliminate about 300 registrations used to cast a seemingly legitimate vote for every one registration used to cast a double vote.

Keywords: election administration, voter fraud, double voting

Suggested Citation

Goel, Sharad and Meredith, Marc and Morse, Michael and Rothschild, David M. and Shirani-Mehr, Houshmand, One Person, One Vote: Estimating the Prevalence of Double Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections (May 23, 2019). American Political Science Review, Volume 114, Issue 2, May 2020, pp. 456 - 469, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3872769 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3872769

Sharad Goel

Stanford University ( email )

475 Via Ortega
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://5harad.com

Marc Meredith

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Michael Morse (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E 60th St
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/morse

David M. Rothschild

Microsoft Research ( email )

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New York, NY 10011
United States

HOME PAGE: http://researchdmr.com/

Houshmand Shirani-Mehr

Stanford University - Department of Management Science & Engineering ( email )

473 Via Ortega
Stanford, CA 94305-9025
United States

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