The files below have all of the Cost of Voting Index values, rankings, and policies for each of the 50 states for presidential elections going back to 1996, in an Excel file.
Please cite the Election Law Journal articles above if you use this data.
Codebook for Cost of Voting Index file
statenu: is the state number state: the two letter abbreviation for the corresponding state year: year of the presidential election
InitialCOVI: the Cost of Voting Index value, as calculated in the above publications. For the 2020 and 2022 elections, the initial values represent the measure of each state's laws as of June. However, in both election years numerous states continued to alter their election laws after our analysis. Following the 2020 election, we went back and recalculated the value and ranking for each state based upon the laws that were in place on Election Day.
The values based on the policies that were in place on Election Day are presented in the FinalCOVI column. Currently, we only list the 2022 values in the InitialCOVI column. However, once election day is complete we will rerun our analysis using the laws that were in force and report the new values and rankings in the FinalCOVI.
InitialRank: the interval measure of the original index values. This ranking allows for comparison of a state across election years. Lower numbers indicate a lower cost and higher numbers indicate a higher cost
FinalCOVI: During the peer review process for our 2020 COVI publication, reviewers suggested we go back and modify the calculation of our earlier measures (1996-2016) to include some of the new policy considerations included in the 2020 Index. These revised COVI values are based on considerations not included in the original Election Law Journal publication (2018). The Final COVI values are improved and we would like to recommend scholars and practitioners use the Final COVI Values and Final Ranks in any subsequent analyses. Moreover, during the process of redoing the earlier years some coding errors were uncovered and fixed, including some errors in the 2020 COVI. Original index values correlate with the final index values r =.75 , p < .001.
FinalRank: Ranking of states, in each election cycle, based on the revised COVI values. Original rankings and final rankings correlate at r =.72, p < .001.
Covid-19 and the 2020 Presidential Election The original measure of the 2020 Cost of Voting Index (COVI) captures only enshrined electioneering practices and does not count temporary changes adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We do not provide any allowances for temporary policies related to voting in the original measure, because our intention is to develop a measure of electoral climate that is a reflection of more institutionalized practices. However, we have collected data on the adoption of temporary election policies to create a second index for 2020, the Covid-19 Cost of Voting Index (COVID-COVI). This index is included in the excel file below In columns H and I. Values for the COVID-COVI are "as of" Election Day.
COVI2022_IRT and COVI2022_IRTrank are the values reported in the 2022 COVI publication, where we compare our measures using Principle Component Analysis to measures using Item Response Theory. The two measures are highly correlated (Pearson-R = .95; P < .001; n=50).
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