Maps and Cartograms of the 2004 US Presidential Election Results
People are increasingly relying on visualizations on the Internet mass media as their primary source of election results. It is thus crucial for the media to provide accurate, informative, and user-friendly visualizations. However, this is not an easy task because of the complexity of the data. Because elections visualization on the Internet mass media is such an important yet challenging task, it is useful to study its effectiveness. We performed user studies on popular Internet visualizations of the November 2006 U.S. mid-term elections. The results show that these visualizations are alarmingly misleading. A large proportion of users were unable to obtain basic and pertinent information from the visualizations. In contrast, users performed much better on the alternative visualizations that we designed.