Data-Driven Conversations and the EAVS

Oct 20, 2017

Earlier this week, Auburn University and the Election Center hosted the “Inclusion & Integrity in Election Administration Symposium,” a series of data-driven conversations focused on improving the Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS). The EAC was excited to be a part of this great two-day event, which featured a number of panels about the EAVS and other important discussions about topics such as voter access and participation and election technology and security.

Panelists and those attending shared great insight and feedback about the EAVS and how the EAC could make the data more meaningful for election officials. Some of the topics discussed included:

  • How the EAC should provide election officials and the public with more ways to use EAVS data. This feedback is something the agency has heard before and is something we are already working on. In fact, at the event, we previewed a data interactive tool based on EAVS data, as well as one-page EAVS state data summaries, highlighting some of the top-level data from the survey. We will release both of these in the next several weeks and will continue to look for more ways to share the data in useful formats. 
  • The Statutory Overview, which provides an overview of state election laws and procedures, should be more clearly connected to the EAVS. We are also already working on this, by simplifying and clarifying overview questions and discussing about how to better include data from the Overview in the EAVS report itself. 
  • The Council of State Governments and the Federal Voting Assistance Program reviewed and improved Section B of the survey about military and overseas voting. There were suggestions to conduct a similar review of Section A of the survey, which focuses on voter registration data. 
  • We also heard feedback, as we have in the past, about providing the survey online for states to complete. The EAC has begun to explore this possibility and will continue to reach out to and listen to state and local election officials about how to make the survey as easy as possible to respond to.

The feedback from this symposium was invaluable for the EAC. We thank Auburn University and the Election Center for providing the forum for this conversation which allowed us to hear from so many state and local election officials, academics, and other stakeholders in the field. And we still want more feedback! The public comment period is still open for the 2018 Election Administration and Voting Survey. Please take the time to submit your thoughts on how we can improve the EAVS.

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