United States Election Assistance Comittee

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Note: If you wish to vote absentee and are a uniformed service member or family member or a citizen living outside the U.S., contact the Federal Voting Assistance Program to register to vote.

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Military and Overseas Voters

EAC has several projects under way to assist states in serving military and overseas citizens who register and vote absentee under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. Learn more

Other Reports

Election Administration in Urban and Rural Areas

HAVA (b)(15) requires EAC to study "[m]atters particularly relevant to voting and administering elections in rural and urban areas." The purpose of this study is to determine the ways in which election officials conduct voter outreach, secure personnel, and handle any cost-related challenges associated with administering general elections in rural and urban jurisdictions.

Free or Reduced Postage for the Return of Voted Absentee Ballots

 This report examines the feasibility and advisability of reducing or eliminating the cost of postage to return a voted absentee ballot.

Alternative Voting Methods

This study is meant to provide details about new and exciting ways of administering elections so that each jurisdiction can chart the future of its own system of election administration with the most information possible.

Voter Hotlines

Whether answering routine questions on Election Day, providing poll worker training and assignment information, or responding to inquiries on the status of provisional ballots and general voter complaints and concerns, the telephone remains a primary communication tool between election offices and the public. This study evaluates the effectiveness of different kinds of, and usages for, voter hotlines. 

UOCAVA Voting Systems

Prepared by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with funding from the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the report examines the security threats associated with potential electronic technologies for overseas voting and identifies possible ways of mitigating these threats. 

Provisional Voting

Section 241 of HAVA authorizes EAC to conduct periodic studies of election administration issues, while section 302(a) of HAVA required states to establish provisional balloting procedures by January 2004.

This study examines the use of provisional voting by surveying 400 local election officials, using data from the 2004 elections for statistical analysis, and analyzing statutes and litigation related to provisional voting in all 50 states.

Provisional Voting: Challenges and Solutions Read the challenges and solutions for issues such as transparency, accountability, implementation on Election Day, and issuing and processing provisional ballots.

Election Crimes 

Section 241(b)(6) and (7) of HAVA lists two research study topics related to: nationwide statistics and methods of identifying, deterring and investigating voting fraud in elections for Federal office; and identifying, deterring and investigating methods of voter intimidation.

In 2005, EAC embarked on an initial review of the existing knowledge of voting fraud and voter intimidation. The goal of the study was to develop a working definition of "voting fraud" and "voter intimidation" and to identify research methodology to conduct a comprehensive, nationwide study of these topics.

Voter ID

Section 241 of HAVA authorizes EAC to conduct periodic studies of election administration issues, with the purpose of identifying methods for voting and election administration that are convenient, accessible and easy to use, secure and expeditious, and that give each voter an equal opportunity to have their vote counted.

This study provides information on voter identification practices in the 2004 election. It makes recommendations for best practices to evaluate future proposals for voter ID requirements. 

First-Time Voters

Section 244 of HAVA requires the EAC to study and report on the impact of the law on first-time voters who register to vote by mail and cast their ballots in person. Through case studies and voter focus groups, this research provides insight into the administrative difficulties imposed on election officials by this HAVA requirement and voters' perceptions of its efficacy.

Voter Information Web Sites

In accordance with Section 245 of HAVA, the EAC studied the possible impact new communications or Internet technology systems used in the electoral process could have on voter participation rates, voter education, and public accessibility. 

Implementation of State Voter Registration Databases

The EAC-funded National Academy of Sciences study, "Improving State Voter Registration Databases," presents information gathered during three years of study conducted by the Committee on State Voter Registration Databases, a group of 14 experts in the fields of election administration; political science; computer and network security; and databases, who were organized by NAS to consider this issue.

Poll Workers

The EAC has issued successful practices guidebooks to help election officials recruit, train and retain poll workers.  These guidebooks were developed by veteran election officials, poll workers and voters and were field tested at six locations during the 2006 elections.

Effective Designs for the Administration of Federal Elections (Ballot Design)

View the descriptive flyer discussing Effective Designs for the Administration of Federal Elections.

EAC provides the following best practices report and samples for the design of ballots and polling place materials. Legislative guidelines, design principals and research with election officials, voters, poll workers, and other experts inform these resources. The design of election materials is complex; therefore, we recommend that samples for optical scan ballots, direct-recording electronic (DRE) ballots and polling place voter information materials be viewed in the context of the full report, which addresses the design planning process, general best practices, implementation insights, limitations and more.

  • Full Report
  • Individual Chapters
    • Introduction -- an overview of the report and research methods; advises how to use report.
    • Voter Information Materials -- Summarizes best practices; provides planning resources for the design of polling place materials, including ballot content; provides sample design specifications for polling place signage in one and two languages.
    • Optical Scan Ballots --  Summarizes best practices; offers planning guidance; provides design guidelines covering the four basic content areas of ballot design (election info, ballot instructions, ballot navigation and questions); sample design specifications are for ballots in one and two languages.
    • Full-face DRE Ballots -- Summarizes best practices; offers planning guidance; provides design guidelines covering the four basic content areas of ballot design (election info, ballot instructions, ballot navigation and questions).
    • Rolling DRE Ballots -- Summarizes best practices; offers planning guidance; describes the sequence of ballot screens and interactions required to deliver content and support tasks in the voting process (select language, vote, review, and cast); offers example screens.
    • Research Report: Nebraska Test Pilot -- Results from the real-election application of draft optical scan ballot and polling place material designs; findings span the productions process to the Election Day experience.
    • Research Report: Nine Research Events -- Summarizes the research events comprising the user-centered process that resulted in best practice recommendations that are grounded in legislative, budgetary, technical and voter realities.
    • Appendix