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Securing American Elections: How Data-Driven Election Monitoring Can Improve Our Democracy

Alvarez, R. Michael and Adams-Cohen, Nicholas and Kim, Seo-young Silvia and Li, Yimeng (2020) Securing American Elections: How Data-Driven Election Monitoring Can Improve Our Democracy. Elements in Campaigns and Elections. Cambridge University Press , Cambridge. ISBN 9781108887359.

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The integrity of democratic elections, both in the United States and abroad, is an important problem. In this Element, we present a data-driven approach that evaluates the performance of the administration of a democratic election, before, during, and after Election Day. We show that this data-driven method can help to improve confidence in the integrity of American elections.

Item Type:Book
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemCode
Alvarez, R. Michael0000-0002-8113-4451
Adams-Cohen, Nicholas0000-0003-2251-1744
Kim, Seo-young Silvia0000-0002-8801-9210
Li, Yimeng0000-0003-3855-0756
Additional Information:© 2020 R. Michael Alvarez, Nicholas Adams-Cohen, Seo-young Silvia Kim, and Yimeng Li. Online publication date: November 2020. A project like this cannot be successfully conducted without a lot of advice, input, and assistance. First of all, we thank Neal Kelley, the Orange County Registrar of Voters, for his collaboration with us on this project. Neal’s advice, enthusiasm, and interest in using data to improve the election process in Orange County provided the foundation for our project. Working with academic researchers is not easy, and Neal’s willingness to collaborate with us, his patience with our requests, and his comments and critiques of our work, were important for our success. We also thank Justin Berardino of the OCROV for his help – Justin, the OCROV’s Operations Manager, played a crucial role in helping us with data and information about elections in Orange County. Second, we thank the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which provided funding for this project. The mission of the Haynes Foundation is to support social science research, especially in Southern California. They have long provided financial support for research that seeks to improve a social scientific understanding of California’s unique democracy, and we hope that our research reported in this Element contributes to that same understanding. Third, a number of people have helped us with this research project. Sabrina Hameister at Caltech assisted with project logistics, and we could not have easily run this project without her help. A number of Caltech students participated in this research project, and we thank them for their assistance: Jack Briones, Ethan Eason, Daniel Guth, Claire Ho, Joanna Huey, Michelle Hyun, Cheria Jia, Nailen Matschke, Matt Riker, and Spencer Schneider. Academic colleagues provided comments and advice at various stages in this project, and we thank Lonna Atkeson, Paul Gronke, Thad Hall, Jonathan Katz, Ines Levin, Paul Manson, and Charles Stewart for their support and advice. Some of the research reported here has been presented at research conferences and workshops, especially our work on voter registration database auditing: We thank participants at the 2018 Southern California Methods Conference (especially Steven Liao), and Election Audit Summit held at MIT, December 7–8, 2018. The registration auditing project was also presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, the Election Sciences, Reform, and Administration 2019 conference, and the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society for Political Methodology – we thank participants from those conferences for their comments and questions. We presented some of the material from this project at the “Election Administration and Technology Symposium,” hosted by the Bedrosian Center at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy; we thank Jeff Jenkins for inviting us, and for hosting the symposium, and of course we thank the symposium participants for their comments on our work. Finally, code and data from our research are available on our project’s GitHub ( Due to the ongoing nature of this project, and the sensitive nature of some of the data, only certain datasets and code will be available on the GitHub. Researchers who are interested in data or code that is not on the project GitHub are encouraged to contact the authors.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:election security, election audits, election fraud, voter registration, social media, survey methodology, voter confidence
Series Name:Elements in Campaigns and Elections
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201109-122636056
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Alvarez, R., Adams-Cohen, N., Kim, S., & Li, Y. (2020). Securing American Elections: How Data-Driven Election Monitoring Can Improve Our Democracy (Elements in Campaigns and Elections). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108887359
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106511
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Nov 2020 22:20
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:54

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