With the help of Sentis Research, I have placed into the field a survey of local election officials to follow-up on a very similar survey that I helped produce in 2013, in order to help the Presidential Commission on Election Administration understand the challenges facing local jurisdictions.
You can review the testimony my colleagues and I provided to the PCEA about the 2013 survey at meetings on September 20, 2013 and December 3, 2013.
The specific purpose of the current survey is to see how things have changed at the local level for two very important issues in the PCEA report: wait times at the polls and the purchase of voting technology. Public opinion research of voters suggests that wait times diminished substantially in 2016, compared to 2012, and the local election official survey will help to provide context to why wait times dropped. The PCEA report also identified the problem of aging voting technology as a “looming technology crisis.” The LEO survey will help us to gauge how much it remains a looming problem.
With concerns over email phishing attacks, some local officials have contacted me to see if the invitation to participate in the survey is legitimate. I don’t blame them. If any election official is concerned about the authenticity of the e-mail they received about this survey, here are some things to look for in the message:
- You will notice that my contact information is located on the e-mail solicitation.
- The invitation will be sent to you from the following e-mail address: MIT@sentis.ca. It will include “Election Administration Survey” in the subject line.
- The invitation will include a link that will take you to an online survey hosted at https://mit-survey.sentis.ca. (Each link is customized for every individual who was invited to participate, so don’t visit the simple link given in the previous sentence.)
One final thing: answers to the survey will be held in confidence. We will not be releasing or saving any information about individual respondents. We will only be releasing an aggregate report about the responses.
I appreciate the responses we have received thus far. This is an important opportunity for local officials to report on how things have gone in the four years since 2012, and to help us gauge the challenges and successes experienced by local election jurisdictions in 2016.