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Evaluating Elections

Details

  • 2 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 180 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.36 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 324.6/5
  • Dewey version: 23
  • LC Classification: JK1976 .A68 2013
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Elections--United States--Handbooks, manuals, etc
    • Elections--Handbooks, manuals, etc
    • POLITICAL SCIENCE / General.--bisacsh

Library of Congress Record

Hardback

 (ISBN-13: 9781107027626)

Evaluating Elections
Cambridge University Press
9781107027626 - Evaluating Elections - A Handbook of Methods and Standards - By R. Michael Alvarez, Lonna Rae Atkeson and Thad E. Hall
Frontmatter/Prelims

Evaluating Elections: A Handbook of Methods and Standards

In competitive and contested democratic elections, ensuring integrity is critical. Evaluating Elections shows why systematic analysis and reporting of election performance are important and how data-driven performance management can be used by election officials to improve elections. The authors outline how performance management systems can function in elections and their benefits for voters, candidates, and political parties. Journalists, election administrators, and even candidates all often ask whether recent elections were run well, whether there were problems in the administration of a particular state's elections, and how well elections were run across the country. The authors explain that such questions are difficult to answer because of the complexity of election administration and because there is currently no standard or accepted framework to assess the general quality of an election.

R. Michael Alvarez is professor of political science at the California Institute of Technology and codirector of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project. Alvarez is a Fellow of the Political Methodology Society and is coeditor of the journal Political Analysis. He coauthored Electronic Elections: The Perils and Promises of Digital Democracy (with Thad E. Hall, 2010) and Point, Click, and Vote: The Future of Internet Voting (with Thad E. Hall, 2004).

Lonna Rae Atkeson is professor and Regents’ Lecturer in the Political Science department at the University of New Mexico and director of the Center for the Study of Voting, Elections, and Democracy.

Thad E. Hall is associate professor of political science at the University of Utah. He coauthored Electronic Elections: The Perils and Promises of Digital Democracy (with R. Michael Alvarez, 2010) and Point, Click, and Vote: The Future of Internet Voting (with R. Michael Alvarez, 2004).


Evaluating Elections

A Handbook of Methods and Standards

R. Michael Alvarez

California Institute of Technology

Lonna Rae Atkeson

University of New Mexico

Thad E. Hall

University of Utah


Cambridge University Press
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Cambridge University Press
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www.cambridge.org
Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9781107653054
© R. Michael Alvarez, Lonna Rae Atkeson, and Thad E. Hall 2013

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2013
Printed in the United States of America

A catalog record for this publication is available from the British Library.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Alvarez, R. Michael, 1964–
Evaluating elections : a handbook of methods and standards / R. Michael Alvarez, Lonna Rae Atkeson, Thad Hall.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-107-02762-6 (hardback) – ISBN 978-1-107-65305-4 (paperback)
1. Elections – United States – Handbooks, manuals, etc. 2. Elections – Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. Atkeson, Lonna Rae, 1965– II. Hall, Thad E. (Thad Edward), 1968– III. Title.
JK1976.A68 2012
324.6′5–DC23 2012014230

ISBN 978-1-107-02762-6 Hardback
ISBN 978-1-107-65305-4 Paperback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party Internet Web sites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such Web sites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


Contents

Acknowledgments
ix
Introduction: Performance-Based Evaluation of Election Administration
1
Performance Measurement in Government and the Private Sectors
4
Goals of Performance Measurement in Elections
6
Elections Are about Data
7
Collection, Transparency, and Openness
10
From Indexes to Performance-Based Management
17
Our Book in Brief
18
1             The Electoral Ecosystem
19
Election Observation
21
Election Forensics
21
Legal Analysis
23
Residual Votes
24
Postelection Audits
25
Voter Surveys
26
Poll Worker Surveys
29
Incident Reports
29
Improving Performance: One Measure Does Not Work
30
The New Mexico Example
33
Cuyahoga County Example
35
Improving the Ecosystem
36
Conclusions
38
2             Easily Available Data for Performance Evaluation
39
The Residual Vote
40
Provisional Ballots: Multiple Metrics
43
Incident Reports and Poll Worker Feedback
45
Voter Registration Databases
47
Lost Votes and Metrics for Policy Change
50
Moving from Data to Performance-Based Management
52
Using Performance Data for Election Improvement
57
Conclusions
58
3             Measuring the Experiences of Voters
60
Qualitative Methods and the Voting Experience
62
Quantitative Performance Measurement Metrics
66
The VSAP Example
70
Metrics from Voter Surveys
73
Polling Place Metrics
75
Conclusions
82
Appendix: A Few Notes on Surveys and Focus Groups
83
4             Measuring the Performance of Poll Workers
92
Measuring the Performance of Poll Workers
94
Demographics
95
Training
99
Evaluating Procedures
101
Problems at the Polls
104
Confidence and Satisfaction
105
Implementing Photo Identification Requirements
108
Qualitative Measures of the Poll Worker Experience
112
Conclusions
113
5             Auditing the Election Ecosystem
115
What Is an Election Ecosystem Audit?
117
Steps in an Election Ecosystem Audit
118
Conclusions
128
6             Election Observation
130
A Brief History of Election Observation
131
Some General Considerations for Developing Election Observation Studies
133
New Mexico 2006, 2008, and 2010 Election Observation Methodology
135
An Important Result: Issues Regarding Voter Identification
140
Findings and Recommendations: Linking Evaluations and Action
142
Designing an Effective Election Observation Study
143
Conclusion
146
Appendix: Precinct Opening, Closing, Election Day Forms
151
References
159
Index
169

Acknowledgments

This is a book that we have wanted to write for many years. We have each spent most of our professional lives trying to better understand how elections are conducted and how to improve the quality of elections. Throughout that time, we have learned a great deal from many people, who have given us the amazing opportunity to learn from their experience. Consequently, we have many organizations and people whom we wish to acknowledge.

Our work has been supported by many different organizations and institutions. Of course, we wish to thank our respective universities, the California Institute of Technology, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Utah, for their support of our efforts. In particular, we appreciate the staff assistance from Gloria Bain, Joann Buehler, and Cindy Brown. Financial support for the research we have conducted on election administration over the years has been provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John Randolph Haynes Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, the JEFH Foundation, the JEHT Foundation, and the Pew Charitable Trusts. In particular, we wish to thank Ray Martinez III, Geri Mannion, Catherine Hazelton, Michael Caudell-Feagan, and David Becker.

We have each been lucky to have wonderful students with whom to work on projects like those that we discuss in this volume, both undergraduate and graduate. Their contributions, intellectual and personal, have made our research projects a great success. We thank Alex Adams, David Barmore, Lisa Bryant, Nancy Carrillo, Peter Foley, Melanie Goodrich, Erin Hartman, Gabriel Katz, Yann Kerevel, Ines Levin, Morgan Llewellyn, Kathleen Moore, David Odegard, Erin Peterson, Kim Proctor, Jon Rogoski, Steve Samford, Christopher Shannon, Andy Sinclair, Betsy Sinclair, Lori Tafoya, Jessica Taverna, Lucy Williams, and Luciana Zilberman.

Each of us has many colleagues to thank, and we appreciate the help of Steve Allen, Steve Ansolabehere, Ernesto Calvo, Doug Chapin, Marcelo Escolar, Ned Foley, Paul Gronke, Wendy Hansen, Steve Huefner, Susan Hyde, Jeff Jonas, Jonathan Katz, Rod Kiewiet, Tim Krebs, Robert Krimmer, Martha Kropf, Herb Lin, Cherie Maestas, David Magleby, Chris Mann, Quin Monson, Robert Montjoy, Jonathan Nagler, Grant Neeley, Jim Noel, Julia Pomares, Peter Ordeshook, Steve Ott, Kelly Patterson, Ron Rapoport, Ron Rivest, Mike Rocca, Gabe Sanchez, Kyle Saunders, Ted Selker, Philip Stark, Bob Stein, Charles Stewart III, Walter Stone, Dan Tokaji, Caroline Tolbert, Alex Trechsel, William Winkler, and Rebecca Wright. In addition, aspects of this book were presented at the 2008 American Political Science Association and at a talk given at IFES in 2008, and we thank those who provided comments in those venues.

This work would not have been possible without close collaborations with election officials and policy makers throughout the world. In particular, we wish to thank LuAnn Adams, Robert Adams, Pat Beckstead, Katie Blinn, Rhonda Burrows, Dana DeBeauvoir, Larry Delgado, Lynn Ellins, Efrain Escobedo, Valerie Espinoza, Dave Franks, Ericka Haas, Shane Hamlin, Nick Handy, Fran Hanhardt, Governor Gary Herbert, Mary Herrera, Debbie Holmes, Neal Kelley, Scott Konopasek, Denise Lamb, Patricia Lehmus, Tim Likness, John Lindback, Dean Logan, Epp Maaten, Ülle Madise, Connie McCormack, Paul Miller, Rozan Mitchell, David Motz, Randy Newton, Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Steve Rawlings, Governor Bill Richardson, Heiki Sibul, Siiri Sillajõe, Sherrie Swensen, Mark Taylor, Rebecca Vigil-Giron, and Kim Wyman.

We also wish to thank Robert Dreesen for his help making this book a reality.

Finally, our hope is that the work that we have put into improving elections will lead to a better democracy in the future for our children: Ethan, William, Jackson, Carson, and Sophia. This book is dedicated to that vision.




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