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Center For Electoral Quality And Integrity (CEQI)

By Rhonda Farrell posted 12/17/21 05:55 PM


The American Society for Quality (ASQ) Government Division has initiated a bold project to show the power of quality management and quality science as a means of unbiased analysis and decision making regarding perceived and real problems in the conduct of American elections in order to build voter trust in election security and ballot access. ASQ is now asking its members and American Election Officials to help get it done. This work will use basic quality practice and competencies to build best practices models for the conduct of elections. It will also develop standardized measures of efficient and effective operations. This project will create a best practice operational model based on the ASQ/ANSI G1 standard, and a Voice of the Customer best practices model using Baldridge Excellence Framework. This volunteer effort is being led by the ASQ Center for Electoral Quality and Integrity (CEQI) in the Government Division. Working with a group of election experts, CEQI developed an Election Operations System map that provides a visual representation of eleven key activities associated with election administration. This system map of key common activities will be the basis of electoral organizations to utilize the ASQ/ANSI G1 2021 standard (Guidelines For Evaluating The Quality Of Government Operations And Services) to objectively review the maturity of their operations. Additionally, the maturity relative to the ASQ/ANSI G1 standard, can be validated externally by the CEQI and used to help increase the confidence of constituents in the management of elections. Once finalized, this performance model will allow examination and objective scoring of any and all County election departments to show their excellence of operation, and where they may deviate from best practices.We are now looking for input from election officials throughout the country to validate the Operations System map.Our goal is by the end of the year to incorporate feedback received to refine the Operations System map and gain broad acceptance of its suitability, accuracy, and completeness.

CEQI Leadership Team, Advisory Committee and Partner Organizations
Click here to learn more about our Leadership Team, Advisory Committee members, and Partner Organizations. If you would like information about joining CEQI, please submit your information.

Voting Process Satisfaction Survey

CEQI conducted the Voting Process Satisfaction Survey in December 2022 to learn more about voter perceptions related to election quality. Based on the responses from 2,235 ASQ members, a large majority of respondents feel it is “appropriately easy to vote” in US elections and that their vote in the last general elections was “counted as intended”. Almost half expressed some concerns about integrity, however, and felt that “cheating in the electoral system” may need a closer look. 

Specifically, 86% of respondents feel that “it is appropriately easy to vote”, and 92% expressed confidence that their vote was counted correctly “as they intended.” Only 57% agreed with the statement that “cheating the electoral system is very rare,” and 24% disagreed or strongly disagreed. The remaining 18% responded they had mixed feelings about cheating (17%) or needed more information (1%). “The fact that 43% of all respondents had some concern about cheating tells us there is work to do in quantifying the extent of election fraud through valid measurement, and in documenting its root cause,” said CEQI Chair Kerry Bass. “We believe that our work in documenting operational best practices and establishing a ‘voice of the customer’ confidence measures can provide the critical resources needed by the American public to have complete trust in their selection of government leaders.” 

“Despite the fact that a majority of ASQ members are generally confident about election operations, the lack of complete confidence expressed by between 25-44% should be of concern to quality professionals,” said CEQI Chair-Elect Richard Mallory. Operations in 2023 will attempt to address these concerns, through identification of best practice election operations, and certification of the maturity of quality practices in all election operations. “There is no good reason for allowing these concerns to remain unaddressed,” said Mallory. 

The CEQI American Elections Initiative is also working in partnership with the University of Georgia at Athens, and its School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), working to collaborate with existing election organizations to locate and review best practice information to include in its workflow modeling. The initiative also depends on the participation of state, municipal and local election organizations and their subject matter experts. This working group is now being assembled, and will be asked to review and comment on standardized best practice workflows as they are developed. CEQI goals focus on developing these best practice operational models and benchmarks so that volunteer pilot elections organizations can be validated for quality of operations by the end of 2023 and other election organizations can volunteer to be validated prior to the 2024 general elections.

Thanks again to the ASQ community for providing such a robust response to our survey. To request additional information or to volunteer for future CEQI activities, please submit your information.

CEQI’s position paper, Advancing a Quality Management System For US Elections, is available for download