In competitive and contested democratic elections, insuring integrity is critical. Evaluating Elections shows why systematic analysis and reporting of election performance is 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 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 Co-Director of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project. Alvarez is a Fellow of the Political Methodology Society and is co-editor of the journal Political Analysis. He co-authored Electronic Elections: The Perils and Promise 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 co-authored Electronic Elections: The Perils and Promise of Digital Democracy (with R. Michael Alvarez, 2010) and Point, Click, and Vote: The Future of Internet Voting (with R. Michael Alvarez, 2004).
Introduction: performance-based evaluation of election administration; 1. The electoral ecosystem; 2. Easily available data for performance evaluation; 3. Measuring the experiences of voters; 4. Measuring the performance of poll workers; 5. Auditing the election ecosystem; 6. Election observation.