Bruce E. Hansen

"Recounts from Undervotes: Evidence from the 2000 Presidential Election"
Journal of the American Statistical Association

(2003), 98, 292-298.


The vote recount in the 2000 Presidential election (Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties, Florida) is examined for evidence of bias. A precinct-level dataset is constructed, incorporating the machine-vote tally, the recount vote tally, voter registration demographics, and the ballot review by media sources. A new multivariate Beta-Logit model is introduced, which allows the joint modeling of multivariate unobserved latent probabilities. A simple two-step estimator is proposed which approximates the joint maximum likelihood estimator.

The parameter estimates are consistent with a strong hypothesis -- that the recount vote tally was unbiased. Specifically, it is found that the precinct-level machine-vote probability for a candidate is an unbiased predictor for the hand-recount undervote probability. There is no evidence of bias in the recount.

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Some of the above material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. SES-9022176, SES-9120576, SBR-9412339, and SBR-9807111. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.