Philip A. Klinkner, Associate Professor of Government
Hamilton College 198 College Hill Road Clinton, NY 13323 315-859-4344
This project began in response to media reports about the findings of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) that indicated higher rates of ballot spoilage in Florida counties with larger numbers of blacks. I was intrigued by this result, so I decided to run my own independent analysis of the data. I should mention that I have no official connection to the USCCR, but I have met two of its members, Abigail Thernstrom and Professor Christopher Edley. I did not, however, contact them before undertaking this analysis. In addition, I did not know Professor Alan Lichtman who conducted the USCCR analysis. Since arriving at my findings, I have spoken by telephone with Professor Lichtman and Professor Edley to inform them of my conclusions. In summary, these findings are mine and mine alone.
All data are publicly available and collected from the web (the report contains the relevant links). Despite using my own data sources, my statistical findings largely correspond to those of the USCCR report--even when other factors are controlled for, the rate of spoiled ballots increased with the percent of voters who are black.
To view analysis: analysis (slow to load)
To download data in Excel: data