The EAC is pleased to announce the Fors Marsh Group (FMG) will administer the 2016 Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS). The biennial survey, which has been administered since 2004, collects election administration data from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. The biennial Statutory Overview is also being administered by FMG and will provide an overview of state laws and procedures governing federal elections.
To prepare for administering the survey, in late August FMG hosted a webinar including EAC Commissioner Matt Masterson, Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) director Matt Boehmer, former San Diego County, CA Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler, and FMG subject matter expert Thad Hall to discuss the 2016 survey with the states. More than 30 states joined the webinar along with more than half-a-dozen counties. A video of this webinar is now available on the EAC’s website.
The participants discussed how the data gathered can help election officials evaluate processes in their states and help agencies like FVAP understand how they can better serve military and overseas voters. Deborah Seiler, who is working with FMG and providing expertise as a former election official, discussed what officials can do now to prepare for the survey.
All the panelists noted one of the main goals of the EAC is to make the process of completing the survey easier for election officials. Thad Hall with FMG discussed the numerous steps they are taking to make this happen, including:
Contacting every state to discuss their previous experiences with the survey, how states respond to the survey, and what works best for them.
Each state will have its own technical assistance staff person to provide guidance when completing the survey.
The excel spreadsheet used to complete the survey will be more user friendly.
Short videos will be prepared, that can be used by state and local election officials, explaining the EAVS section by section and question by question.
Changes will be made to the language in the supplemental instruction manual making is easier to understand and clearer regarding exactly what data are needed.
We are excited to be working with FMG to administer this important survey and are looking forward to working with states to both ease the process and get the most accurate and complete data possible.