As any election official can tell you, preparing for Election Day is no small feat. This is especially true in jurisdictions where “Election Day” has become a weeks-long event with the widespread adoption of early voting and other alternatives to traditional precinct-based in-person voting. To meet this challenge, election officials are increasingly using data-driven approaches to improve their preparations. This includes core election functions, such as poll worker recruitment, polling site identification, and voting equipment distribution, as well as the broader issues of emergency preparedness, response planning and establishing the necessary infrastructure to safeguard election operations.
On Thursday, July 12, 2018, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) will host an Election Data Summit in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of State at the Community College of Philadelphia to discuss how data can be used to improve elections.
The summit will feature four panels, each focusing on a distinct aspect of the election cycle and different sources for election data, including voter registration databases, electronic poll books, voting equipment and post-election audits.
Following a panel on voter registration, MIT Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science Charles Stewart III will moderate a discussion on how data can be used to expedite and improve Election Day preparation. This morning, the EAC is pleased to announce the four expert panelists who will join him on stage:
- Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters, Orange County, CA
- Benjamin Uminsky, Interim Division Manager: Records Management/Archives, Los Angeles County, CA
- Melissa Frey, Special Assistant to the Director, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
- Mark Goins, Coordinator of Elections, TN
We look forward to hearing from each of these panelists about their experiences using data-driven approaches to identify polling locations, recruit poll workers, anticipate needs for Election Day, as well as establishing systems to collect information and respond to emergencies during elections.