The science of elections – what influences our vote?

With US elections underway, and New Zealand elections imminent, the Science Media Centre rounds up the latest research into the science underpinning elections and voting patterns.

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen new research crossing our desks covering everything from electronic voting machines to the influence of newspaper endorsements on voters’ picks.

New Research

Kent State University is researching the impact of social media like YouTube and MySpace on young voters.

Voters prefer younger, fresh-faced poll workers when assessing their confidence in the electoral system.

Analysis of the last two US elections gives evidence that newspaper endorsements influence voter’s decisions.

An in-depth study of the most common election machine errors is offered up as a warning to voters.

News wrap

3 News: US election polls proving to be an inexact science

New York Times: Economics and the Science of Voter Turnout

ScienceDaily: Avoid election machine errors

Scientific American: E-voting concerns persist

New York Times: The value of voting beyond politics

PC World: What could possibly go wrong?