Report from Pew on Election Administration

June 5, 2012, 7:13 p.m.

Pew Center on the States, a division of The Pew Charitable Trusts, has released a new report titled "Election Administration by the Numbers An Analysis of Available Datasets and How to Use Them."

This is the first-ever report to analyze the completeness, strengths, weaknesses, and usefulness of data from sources such as state election divisions, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and its Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS), public opinion surveys, and expert assessments.

A follow up to Pew's 2008 Data for Democracy, this report finds that:

  • Extensive data are available from the sources analyzed here.

  • More effective use can be made of existing data.

  • Election officials, legislators, academic researchers, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders should collaborate to improve the collection and use of data about elections nationally and in the states.

  • The accuracy, completeness, and consistency of data, and even basic definitions of terms, vary considerably across states and localities. Although significant information is available now, better data and consistent definitions will help states continue to improve the effectiveness of election administration.

The Pews Center on the States has been continuing its work with election officials and other experts on developing measurements and tools to improve overall electoral performance.

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