- Use the new EAVS data tools and review EAVS “Deep Dives” on election administration data. In the nearly 15 years since the first Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS) was released, the survey has served as the most comprehensive nationwide data set on election administration in the United States. Historically, it has been fairly easy for election officials to use this data to see broad election trends, but it was more challenging to drill down into a specific jurisdiction’s data and compare that information with other similar jurisdictions. The recently released EAVS Data Interactive gives users the ability to examine specific EAVS data at the state and local level and compare jurisdictions side-by-side with other jurisdictions that have a similar number of registered voters. This powerful tool helps users examine how changes in election policies and procedures impact the administration of elections and provides valuable information for making resource decisions. The EAC has also released a series of EAVS “Deep Dive” research briefs into a variety of issues related to administering elections, including voter registration, poll workers and polling places and early, absentee and mail voting.
- Examine innovative election administration efforts. There are always ways to improve how elections are run, the experience of voters, and the ability of election workers to do their jobs. No matter the size of a jurisdiction or the size of its budget, there is much we can learn from our election peers, including the winners of this year’s “Clearies” awards. The “Clearies” are the EAC’s annual competition to recognize outstanding innovations in election administration. Jurisdictions awarded a “Clearie” last year also demonstrated inventive and innovative approaches and policies that other election officials and jurisdictions may wish to emulate.
- Prepare yourself for the unique challenges posed by close elections. Elections with razor-thin margins now happen regularly in the United States. When they do, political parties, candidates and their lawyers scramble to collect information that could help them contest the election in a recount and/or post-election litigation. This intense scrutiny often presents serious challenges to local election officials, who must neutrally implement the law, fairly administer any recounts, and potentially participate in legal proceedings – all the while keeping the public and affected candidates informed of the process. The EAC recently concluded its “Recount Ready” blog series where we spoke with election officials about their experiences with close elections, recounts and election contests. If you have time to read just one, take a look at the final post which summarizes eight key takeaways from the series.
An U.S. Election Assistance Commission blog written by EAC Chairwoman Christy McCormick