Political Science 485-001: Election Forensics

Fall 2017
Monday, Wednesday 2:30-4 (1518 CCL)
Professor: Walter R. Mebane, Jr.
Office: 7735 Haven Hall; email wmebane@umich.edu
Office hours: Tue 1-3 or other times by appointment.
Course web page: in Canvass; syllabus also at http://www.umich.edu/~wmebane/ps485.html

Assignment Due Dates
due date description weight
-- short papers 20%
Nov 15 fraud statistics exercise 10%
Nov 22 proposal for final paper 10%
Dec 15, 5pm final paper (see file fpaper.pdf) 30%
-- participation 10%
Dec 19, 1:30pm-3:30pm final exam 20%

The course incorporates many features of a seminar. Practically this means two things. First, for each of the first eight course topics (the topics up to fall break) students are responsible for instigating discussion with the assigned reading as a point of departure. The assignments of students to topics will be posted on Canvass. Second, pertaining to two of the first eight topics, every student must submit a paper that raises some analytically interesting point addressed or raised by the course readings. These papers may focus on either required or recommended reading. Additional reading may be drawn in but not substitute for some reference to reading listed on the syllabus. One of the topics must be the topic that student has been assigned as discussion instigator. The other may be freely chosen. These papers are due at the first class meeting encompassed by the topic. Grades for the papers will be counted separately from grades for the quality of discussion instigation. The instigatation grades will be part of ``participation.'' Students assigned to a topic need to coordinate among themselves how they will take responsibility for the various classes encompassed by their topics.

Reading Availability

Much of the course will refer to journal articles and papers posted on the Canvass course site. Other articles are easily found via Google or in http://www.jstor.org.proxy.lib.umich.edu/ or https://www.lib.umich.edu/. I've requested that several books with recommended reading be placed on reserve in the library. In the following listing, required reading is preceded by a bullet. Other items are recommended.

Class meeting and reading schedule

  1. introduction (Sep 6)

  2. the US in 2000 (Sep 11-13)

    Hasen, Richard L. 2004. ``A Critical Guide to Bush v. Gore Scholarship,'' Annual Review of Political Science 7: 297-313.
    http://ssrn.com/abstract=491326

    Toobin, Jeffrey. 2001. Too Close to Call. New York: Random House.

    Kirk Wolter, Diana Jergovic, Whitney Moore, Joe Murphy, Colm O'Muircheartaigh. 2003. ``Reliability of the uncertified ballots in the 2000 presidential election in Florida.'' The American Statistician 57 (1): 1-14.

    Walter R. Mebane, Jr., and Jasjeet S. Sekhon. 2004. ``Robust Estimation and Outlier Detection for Overdispersed Multinomial Models of Count Data.'' American Journal of Political Science 48 (April): 392-411.

  3. the US in 2004 and 2012 (Sep 18-20)

    Presidential Commission on Election Administration. 2014. ``VTP Toolkit.'' (at http://web.mit.edu/vtp/).

    Presidential Commission on Election Administration. 2014. ``The American Voting Experience: Report and Recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. Materials and Research Submissions'' (at https://www.eac.gov/election-officials/pcea/materials-research/).

    Jeh Johnson. 2017. ``Statement by Secretary Jeh Johnson on the Designation of Election Infrastructure as a Critical Infrastructure Subsector''(at https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/01/06/statement-secretary-johnson-designation-election-infrastructure-critical).

    U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 2017. ``U.S. Election Systems as Critical Infrastructure'' (at https://www.eac.gov/assets/1/6/starting_point_us_election_systems_as_Critical_Infrastructure.pdf).

    U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 2017. ``ELECTIONS - CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE'' (at https://www.eac.gov/election-officials/elections-critical-infrastructure/).

    Mark Lindeman. 2006. ``Beyond Exit Poll Fundamentalism: Surveying the 2004 Election Debate.'' Paper prepared for presentation at the 61st Annual Conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Montreal, Canada, May 18-21, 2006. (at http://marklindeman.org/beyond-epf.pdf)

    Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International. 2005. ``Evaluation of Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004.'' (in file EvaluationJan192005.pdf)

    House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff. 2005. Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio. (in file final_status_report.pdf).

    Mebane. 2005. ``Inferences from the DNC Provisional Ballot Voter Survey.'' Section V of Democracy at Risk: The 2004 Election in Ohio. Democratic National Committee, Voting Rights Institute, June 22, 2005.

    Walter R. Mebane, Jr., and Michael C. Herron. 2005. ``Ohio 2004 Election: Turnout, Residual Votes and Votes in Precincts and Wards'' and ``Ohio 2004 Election: New Registrants, Provisional Ballots, Voting Machines, Turnout and Polls Open Elapsed Times in Franklin County Precincts.'' Section VI of Democracy at Risk: The 2004 Election in Ohio. Democratic National Committee, Voting Rights Institute, June 22, 2005.
    http://www.umich.edu/~wmebane/Ohio2004/OhioReportCover2Cover.pdf

    Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman. 2006. What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election.

    Mark Crispin Miller. 2008. Loser Take All: Election Fraud and The Subversion of Democracy, 2000 - 2008.

  4. Sarasota 2006: electronic voting machines (Sep 25)

    Adam Aviv, Pavol Cerný, Sandy Clark, Eric Cronin, Gaurav Shah, Micah Sherr and Matt Blaze. 2008. ``Security Evaluation of ES&S Voting Machines and Election Management System.'' 2008 USENIX/ACCURATE Electronic Voting Technology Workshop, San Jose, July 28-29. (in file aviv.pdf and at
    http://www.usenix.org/event/evt08/tech/full_papers/aviv/aviv.pdf

    Niemi, Richard G., and Paul S. Herrnson. 2003. ``Beyond the Butterfly: The Complexity of U.S. Ballots.'' Perspectives on Politics, 1 (2 Jun.): 317-326.

    R. Michael Alvarez and Thad E. Hall. 2008. Electronic Elections: The Perils and Promises of Digital Democracy.

    Marcia Lausen. 2007. Design for Democracy: Ballot and Election Design.

    Mebane, Walter R., Jr., and David L. Dill. 2007. ``Factors Associated with the Excessive CD-13 Undervote in the 2006 General Election in Sarasota County, Florida.'' MS.
    http://www.umich.edu/~wmebane/smachines1.pdf

    GAO. 2007. ``ELECTIONS: Further Testing Could Provide Increased but Not Absolute Assurance That Voting Systems Did Not Cause Undervotes in Florida's 13th Congressional District,'' Statement before the Task Force on Florida-13, Committee on House Administration, House of Representatives. (in file d0897t.pdf).

    Yasinsac, Alec, David Wagner, Matt Bishop, Ted Baker, Breno de Medeiros, Gary Tyson, Michael Shamos and Mike Burmester. 2007. ``Software Review and Security Analysis of the ES&S iVotronic 8.0.1.2 Voting Machine Firmware.'' Report. Security and Assurance in Information Technology Laboratory, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, February 23, 2007. (in file FinalAudRepSAIT.pdf)

    GAO. 2008. ``ELECTIONS: Results of GAO's Testing of Voting Systems Used in Sarasota County in Florida's 13th Congressional District,'' Statement before the Task Force on Florida-13, Committee on House Administration, House of Representatives. (in file d08425t.pdf).

    D. A. Buell, E. Hare, F. Heindel, C. Moore and B. Zia. ``Auditing a DRE-Based Election in South Carolina.'' 2011 Electronic Voting Technology Workshop/Workshop on Trustworthy Elections, San Francisco, August 8-9. (in file Buell.pdf and at
    http://www.usenix.org/event/evtwote11/tech/final_files/Buell.pdf

  5. post-election audits (Sep 27)

    Jennie Bretschneider, Sean Flaherty, Susannah Goodman, Mark Halvorson, Roger Johnston, Mark Lindeman, Ronald L. Rivest, Pam Smith and Philip B. Stark. 2012. ``Risk-Limiting Post-Election Audits: Why and How'' working paper draft. (in file RLAWG12.pdf and at
    http://people.csail.mit.edu/rivest/pubs.html#RLAWG12

    Mark Lindeman, Philip B. Stark and Vincent S. Yates. 2012. ``BRAVO: Ballot-polling Risk-Limiting Audits to Verify Outcomes.'' 2012 Electronic Voting Technology Workshop/Workshop on Trustworthy Elections. (in file evtwote12-final27.pdf and at
    https://www.usenix.org/system/files/conference/evtwote12/evtwote12-final27.pdf

    Philip B. Stark. 2010. ``Super-Simple Simultaneous Single-Ballot Risk-Limiting Audits.'' 2010 Electronic Voting Technology Workshop/Workshop on Trustworthy Elections, Washington, August 9-10. (in file Stark.pdf and at
    http://www.usenix.org/event/evtwote10/tech/full_papers/Stark.pdf

    U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 2017. ``POST ELECTION: AUDITS & RECOUNTS'' (at https://www.eac.gov/election-officials/post-election-audits-recounts/).

  6. voting technology (Oct 2)

    Wired. 2016. ``Zachary Quinto Explains How to Hack an Election.'' https://www.wired.com/video/zachary-quinto-explains-how-to-hack-an-election. September 14, 2016.

    Patriot NOT Partisan. 2017. ``My Conversation With a Leading Election Technology Researcher Should Terrify You.''
    http://patriotnotpartisan.com/elections/my-conversation-with-a-leading-election-technology-researcher-should-terrify-you/

    Eric L. Lazarus, David L. Dill, Jeremy Epstein and Joseph Lorenzo Hall. 2011. ``Applying a Reusable Election Threat Model at the County Level.'' 2011 Electronic Voting Technology Workshop/Workshop on Trustworthy Elections, San Francisco, August 8-9. (in file Lazarus.pdf and at
    http://www.usenix.org/event/evtwote11/tech/final_files/Lazarus.pdf

    EVEREST team. 2007. ``EVEREST: Evaluation and Validation of Election-Related Equipment, Standards and Testing: Final Report.'' (in file everest.pdf and at
    http://www.patrickmcdaniel.org/pubs/everest.pdf

    Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. 2007. ``Project E V E R E S T: Evaluation and Validation of Election Related Equipment, Standards and Testing: Report of Findings.'' (in file Everest.pdf and at
    https://votingmachines.procon.org/sourcefiles/Everest.pdf

    Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State. 2007. ``Top-to-Bottom Review.''
    http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-systems/oversight/top-bottom-review/

    Presidential Commission on Election Administration. 2014. ``The American Voting Experience: Report and Recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. Appendix V. Voting Technology.''
    https://web.archive.org/web/20160512023240/https://www.supportthevoter.gov/appendix-v/

    Presidential Commission on Election Administration. 2014. ``Materials & Research.'' See papers under heading ``Voting Technology'' at
    https://www.eac.gov/election-officials/pcea/materials-research/

    Douglas W. Jones and Barbara Simons. 2012. Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count? Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Paul S. Herrnson, Richard G. Niemi, Michael J. Hanmer, Benjamin B. Bederson, Frederick G. Conrad and Michael W. Traugott. 2008. Voting Technology: The Not-So-Simple Act of Casting a Ballot. Washington: Brookings.

    The Brennan Center for Justice Voting Technology Assessment Project. 2006. The Machinery of Democracy: Voting System Security, Accessibility, Usability, and Cost.
    https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/publications/Machinery_Democracy.pdf

    Saltman, Roy G. 1988. ``Accuracy, Integrity, and Security in Computerized Vote-Tallying.'' NBS Special Publication 500-158.
    http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/SP/nbsspecialpublication500-158.pdf

    Michael C. Herron, Walter R. Mebane, Jr., and Jonathan N. Wand. 2008 ``Voting Technology and the 2008 New Hampshire Primary.'' William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, 17 (December): 351-374.
    http://www.umich.edu/~wmebane/NH2008HMW.pdf

  7. the US in 2016 (Oct 4)

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 2017. ``Statement by Secretary Jeh Johnson on the Designation of Election Infrastructure as a Critical Infrastructure Subsector,'' Press Release, January 6, 2017. (in file STATEMENT FROM SECRETARY JOHNSON RE ELECTION INFRASTRUCTURE - FINAL.docx)

    U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 2017. ``Starting Point: U.S. Election Systems as Critical Infrastructure.'' (in file starting_point_us_election_systems_as_Critical_Infrastructure.pdf) and at
    https://www.eac.gov/assets/1/6/starting_point_us_election_systems_as_Critical_Infrastructure.pdf

    Latanya Sweeney, Ji Su Yoo and Jinyan Zang. ``Voter Identity Theft: Submitting Changes to Voter Registrations Online to Disrupt Elections.'' Technology Science 2017090601. September 6, 2017. (in file sweeney.yoo.zang.techscience2017.pdf at at
    https://techscience.org/a/2017090601/download.pdf

    Walter R. Mebane, Jr., Alejandro Pineda, Patrick Wu, Logan Woods, Joseph Klaver and Blake Miller. 2017. ``Using Twitter to Observe Election Incidents in the United States.'' Prepared for presentation at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, CA, August 31-September 3, 2017.
    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~wmebane/apsa17.pdf

  8. strategic voting (Oct 9-11)

    Alesina, Alberto, and Howard Rosenthal. 1995. Partisan Politics, Divided Government, and the Economy. New York: Cambridge UP.

    Alberto Alesina, John Londregan and Howard Rosenthal. 1993. A Model of the Political Economy of the United States American Political Science Review 87 (Mar): 12-33.

    Cox, Gary. 1996. Making Votes Count: Strategic Coordination in the World's Electoral System. Cambridge.

    Riker, William H. 1986. The Art of Political Manipulation. Yale UP.

    Riker, William H. 1982. Liberalism Against Populism: A Confrontation Between the Theory of Democracy and the Theory of Social Choice. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland.

    Saari, Donald. 2001. Decisions and elections : explaining the unexpected. Cambridge.

    Mebane, Walter R., Jr. 2000. ``Coordination, Moderation, and Institutional Balancing in American Presidential and House Elections.'' American Political Science Review 94 (March): 37-57. MS version available at
    http://www.umich.edu/~mebane/covote.pdf

    Mebane, Walter R., Jr., and Jasjeet S. Sekhon. 2002. ``Coordination and Policy Moderation at Midterm.'' American Political Science Review 96 (March): 141-157. MS version available at http://www.umich.edu/~mebane/midterm.pdf

  9. Election Forensics Toolkit (Oct 18-23)

  10. testing for and measuring ``frauds'' (Oct 25-Nov 6)

    Ferrari, Diogo and Walter R. Mebane, Jr. 2017. ``Developments in Positive Empirical Models of Election Frauds.'' Paper presented at the 2017 Summer Meeting of the Political Methodology Society, Madison, WI, July 13-15, 2017. http://www.umich.edu/~wmebane/pm17.pdf (in file pm17.pdf)

    Walter R. Mebane, Jr. 2015. ``Election Forensics: Latent Dimensions of Election Frauds and Strategic Voting.'' Presented at the 2015 summer meeting of the Society for Political Methodology, Rochester, July 23-25. http://www.umich.edu/~wmebane/pm15.pdf

    Walter R. Mebane, Jr., and Joe Klaver. 2015. ``Election Forensics: Strategies versus Election Frauds in Germany.'' Presented at the 2015 Annual Conference of the European Political Science Association, Vienna, Austria, June 25-27. http://www.umich.edu/~wmebane/epsa15.pdf

    Kirill Kalinin and Walter R. Mebane, Jr. 2017. ``Worst Election Ever in Russia?'' Presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, April 6-9.
    (in file mw17C.pdf)

    Kirill Kalinin. 2017. ``The Essays on Election Fraud in Authoritarian Regimes,'' Ph.D. dissertation.
    (in file dissc_final_Walter.pdf)

  11. second-digit tests (Nov 8-15)

    Wendy K. Tam Cho and Brian J. Gaines. 2007. ``Breaking the (Benford) Law: Statistical Fraud Detection in Campaign Finance.'' The American Statistician, 61 (August): 218-223.

    Mebane. 2008. ``Election Forensics: The Second-digit Benford's Law Test and Recent American Presidential Elections.'' In R. Michael Alvarez, Thad E. Hall and Susan D. Hyde, eds., Election Fraud: Detecting and Deterring Electoral Manipulation. Washington, DC: Brookings Press, 2008, pp. 162-181.
    http://www.umich.edu/~wmebane/fraud06.pdf

    Mebane. 2006. ``Election Forensics: Vote Counts and Benford's Law,'' Presented at at the 2006 Summer Meeting of the Political Methodology Society, UC-Davis, July 20-22.
    http://www.umich.edu/~wmebane/pm06.pdf

    Mebane, Walter R., Jr. 2007. ``Evaluating Voting Systems To Improve and Verify Accuracy.'' Prepared for presentation at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, San Francisco, CA, February 16, 2007, and at the Bay Area Methods Meeting, Berkeley, March 1, 2007.
    http://www.umich.edu/~wmebane/bamm07.pdf

    European Union. 2001. ``Preliminary Statement--2 October 2001.'' European Union-Election Observation Mission in Bangladesh 2001.
    http://www.lcgbangladesh.org/election01/docs/eu2oct01.pdf

    Mebane. 2007. ``Election Forensics: Statistical Interventions in Election Controversies,'' Presented at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, Aug 30-Sept 2.
    http://www.umich.edu/~wmebane/apsa07.pdf

  12. FRAUD STATISTICS EXERCISE DUE: Nov 15

  13. digit tests and ``election'' manipulation in Iran and Russia (Nov 20-22)

    Kirill Kalinin. 2017. ``The Essays on Election Fraud in Authoritarian Regimes: III. Theory of Loyalty: Signaling Games of Election Frauds,'' Ph.D. dissertation.
    (in file dissc_final_Walter.pdf)

    Walter R. Mebane, Jr., and Kirill Kalinin. 2009. ``Comparative Election Fraud Detection.'' Prepared for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 2-5, 2009.
    http://www.umich.edu/~wmebane/apsa09.pdf

    Francisco Cantu and Sebastian M. Saleigh. 2011. ``Fraudulent Democracy? An Analysis of Argentina's Infamous Decade using Supervised Machine Learning.'' Political Analysis 19 (4): 409-433. (in file Political Analysis-2011-Cantú-409-33.pdf)

  14. other statistical methods to try to detect election fraud (Nov 27-29)

    Peter Ordeshook, Mikhail Myagkov and Dmitry Shakin. 2009. The Forensics of Election Fraud.

    Susan D. Hyde and Nikolay Marinov. 2012. ``Which Elections Can Be Lost?'' Political Analysis 20 (2): 191-210. (in file Political Analysis-2012-Hyde-191-210.pdf)

    Susan D. Hyde. 2011. The Pseudo-Democrat's Dilemma: Why Election Observation Became an International Norm. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP.

    Bjornlund, Eric C. 2004. Beyond Free and Fair: Monitoring Elections and Building Democracy. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press.

    Judith G. Kelley. 2012. Monitoring Democracy: When International Election Observation Works, and Why It Oftern Fails. Princeton UP.

    election monitoring organizations (examples).
    http://www.umich.edu/~wmebane/ps485/monitoring.html

    Pippa Norris. 2014. Why Electoral Integrity Matters. Cambridge.

    Ali Ansari, Daniel Berman and Thomas Rintoul. 2009. Preliminary Analysis of the Voting Figures in Iran's 2009 Presidential Election. Chatham House, London. June 21, 2009. (in file 14234_iranelection0609.pdf)

    Reza Esfandiari and Yousef Bozorgmehr. 2009. ``A Rejoinder to the Chatham House report on Iran's 2009 presidential election offering a new analysis on the results.'' (in file Iranian election.pdf)

  15. more second-digit tests (Dec 4-11)

    European Union Election Observation Mission. ``Mexico Final Report, Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, 2 July 2006.'' November 23, 2006.
    (in file 2006_24_11_final_report_mexico.pdf)

    Francisco Cantú. 2015. ``Groceries for Votes? The Electoral Returns of Vote-buying in Mexico.'' Working paper (in file VoteBuyingV3.pdf)



Walter Mebane 2017-10-05