November 2002 Benchmark Study Summary Results

Sponsored by Collins Center for Public Policy, Inc. and James Madison Institute

Introduction

Florida's voters went to the polls on November 5, 2002 to test one of the nation's most comprehensive election reform efforts since the very close and controversial 2000 presidential election. New voting machines, new voter education efforts, new early voting schedules, and newly trained poll workers were key pieces of this election process. With the whole world watching and holding its breath, Floridians voted early, voted absentee, and voted on election day. What was their satisfaction with the election reforms? Where do we need to further refine the voting process? And most important, do Floridians feel like their votes count?

The Collins Center for Public Policy, Inc. and the James Madison Institute wanted to know the answers to these and other important election reform questions. Together, these two organizations under expert guidance from Dr. Susan MacManus from the University of South Florida and chair of the Elections Commission, Dr. David Colburn from the University of Florida and member of Governor Bush's election task force, and pollster Bruce Barcello developed a survey instrument to ask Florida's voters how they felt about the election reforms.