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The Demographics of Polling Places

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Elections in the United States are highly decentralized with vast powers given to the states to control laws surrounding voter registration, primary procedures, and polling places even in elections of federal officials. There are many individual factors that predict a

Elections in the United States are highly decentralized with vast powers given to the states to control laws surrounding voter registration, primary procedures, and polling places even in elections of federal officials. There are many individual factors that predict a person's likelihood of voting including race, education, and age. Historically disenfranchised groups are still disproportionately affected by restrictive voter registration and ID laws which can suppress their turnout. Less understood is how election-day polling place accessibility affects turnout. Absentee and early voting increase accessibility for all voters, but 47 states still rely on election-day polling places. I study how the geographic allocation of polling places and the number of voters assigned to each (polling place load) in Maricopa County, Arizona has affected turnout in primary and general elections between 2006 and 2016 while controlling for the demographics of voting precincts. This represents a significant data problem; voting precincts changed three times during the time studied and polling places themselves can change every election. To aid in analysis, I created a visualization that allows for the exploration of polling place load, precinct demographics, and polling place accessibility metrics in a map view of the county. I find through a spatial regression model that increasing the load on a polling place can decrease the election-day turnout and prohibitively large distances to the polling place have a similar effect. The effect is more pronounced during general elections and is present at varying levels during each of the 12 elections studied. Finally, I discuss how early voting options appear to have little positive effect on overall turnout and may in fact decrease it.

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Date Created
2017-12

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Assessing the Health Insurance Needs of the Low-Income Hispanic/Latino Population in Phoenix, Arizona

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The growing Hispanic population in Phoenix, Arizona frequently lacks financial resources which may limit their access to health care. The goal of this study was to identify the ideal factors in a health insurance plan for the Hispanic/Latino population in

The growing Hispanic population in Phoenix, Arizona frequently lacks financial resources which may limit their access to health care. The goal of this study was to identify the ideal factors in a health insurance plan for the Hispanic/Latino population in Phoenix, AZ. A survey was designed to gather information regarding demographics, health insurance, preferences, and affordability. The survey was completed by 260 participants. Several multivariate regressions were run using SAS Statistical Software. The final model generated explained 4.48% of the variation in the data set. It showed that an individual who identified as Hispanic/Latino was 8.2% less likely to have health insurance. In addition, an individual who identified as a US Citizen was 23% more likely to have health insurance. To improve access and enrollment among the Hispanic/Latino population, further investigation is needed to identify relevant communication techniques that increase enrollment among this high-risk community.

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2018-05

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A Civil War, a Sectarian War and a Proxy War: Problems of Negotiated Settlement in the Syrian Civil War

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This paper examines the Syrian Civil War using seven different civil war settlement theories in order to assess the likelihood of a negotiated settlement ending the conflict. The costs of war, balance of power, domestic political institutions, ethnic identity, divisibility

This paper examines the Syrian Civil War using seven different civil war settlement theories in order to assess the likelihood of a negotiated settlement ending the conflict. The costs of war, balance of power, domestic political institutions, ethnic identity, divisibility of stakes, veto player, and credible commitment theories were used in a multi-perspective analysis of the Syrian Civil War and the possibility of a peace settlement. It was found that all of the theories except for costs of war and balance of power predict that a negotiated settlement is unlikely to resolve the conflict. Although the Syrian government and the Syrian National Coalition are currently engaged in diplomatic negotiations through the Geneva II conference, both sides are unwilling to compromise on the underlying grievances driving the conflict. This paper ultimately highlights some of the problems inhibiting a negotiated settlement in the Syrian Civil War. These obstacles include: rival ethno-religious identities of combatants, lack of democratic institutions in Syria, indivisibility of stakes in which combatants are fighting for, number of veto player combatant groups active in Syria, and the lack of a credible third party to monitor and enforce a peace settlement.

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2014-05

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A Global Climate Crisis: Why is Arizona Behind The Renewable Energy Curve?

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Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) continue to contribute heavily to global warming. It is estimated that the international community has only until 2050 to eliminate total carbon emissions or risk irreversible climate change. Arizona, despite its vast solar energy resources, is

Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) continue to contribute heavily to global warming. It is estimated that the international community has only until 2050 to eliminate total carbon emissions or risk irreversible climate change. Arizona, despite its vast solar energy resources, is particularly behind in the global transition to carbon-free energy. This paper looks to explore issues that may be preventing Arizona from an efficient transition to carbon-free generation technologies. Identifiable factors include outdated state energy generation standards, lack of oversight and accountability of Arizona’s electricity industry regulatory body, and the ability for regulated utilities to take advantage of “dark money” campaign contributions. Various recommendations for mitigating the factors preventing Arizona from a carbon-free future are presented. Possibilities such as modernizing state energy generation standards, increasing oversight and accountability of Arizona’s electricity industry regulatory body, and potential market restructuring which would do away with the traditional regulated utility framework are explored. The goal is to inform readers of the issues plaguing the Arizona energy industry and recommend potential solutions moving forward.

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2020-12