The Center for Electoral Quality and Integrity - For Such A Time As This
Kerry Bass
2 Posts

Today the United States of America commemorates a major event in the life of our country. One that challenged, and continues to call into question, the continued existence of our constitutional democracy. It would be counter productive for me to express any position on the motivations of those that participated and the continuing debate on causes by those of all political persuasions. However, it is clear, that confidence in our past and future elections has been shaken. Free and fair elections are the bedrock of effective representative governments and the foundation of legitimacy for the actions of the Federal, state and local government entities to serve the governed. Moreover, men, women and even those that are younger than 21 have fought, bled and died for the franchise of full citizenship in this country, the right to vote.

Some may wonder why ASQ would venture into such an environment. For more than 75 years, ASQ has supported professionals and the organizations that they serve to resolve difficult issues and improve lives by supporting excellence in our processes and systems, from manufacturing to services even into the operations of government. Restoring the faith in the quality and integrity of US electoral systems is of paramount importance to the country in which we originated and quite frankly, helping to resolve big problems is what we do. Therefore, we launched the Center for Electoral Quality and Integrity (CEQI), for such a time as this.

We at the CEQI are not naïve regarding the reality of our limits. However, we can be a non-partisan convener of those volunteer subject matter experts, electoral system leaders and those that are knowledgeable of electoral operations in defining consensus measures of electoral quality. We can also provide training and support to objective skilled evaluators that can provide consistent validation of the maturity of electoral processes and systems of organizations that voluntarily request an assessment relative to the consensus measures.

The CEQI has adopted what has become the practical definition of high-quality elections as one in which it is “easy to vote and hard to cheat.” Consequently, our mission and vision are as follows:

Mission: The CEQI will work collaboratively with external organizations, internal ASQ technical communities, and ASQ headquarters to encourage the widespread adoption of consistent quality standards and practices into government electoral processes.

Vision: ASQ, through the CEQI, will be known as a resource Government leaders and citizens turn to regarding the standardization of election processes which ensure the highest possible quality and integrity.

Our approach consists of the follow actions:

  • Beginning in the first quarter of 2022, we will Organize, convene and maintain a focused group of quality practitioners, electoral system leaders, academics and other influencers that will develop consensus quality measures, using ISO 54001 as a guide, to be generally adopted voluntarily by electoral organization leaders.
  • Develop and provide training for users, consultants and evaluators of the measures and guidance.
  • Offer official validation to 3 volunteer pilot electoral systems before the 2022 general elections. Refine the process and open the system to more volunteer systems to be officially validated before the 2024 general elections.
  • Become the registering organization for a recognized community of voluntarily validated organizations relative to the consensus measures.
  • Support the curation of best practices and processes and strategic benchmarking for the quality and integrity of electoral processes and systems.

We ask for you to join us to help. First, we ask election system leaders and experienced volunteer system workers to join us for a soon to be announced workshop to define the specific measure of what is required to make high quality elections in which it is “easy to vote and hard to cheat.” Next, we are seeking electoral system leaders, academics and leaders of non-partisan electoral and democracy support organizations to be part of our advisory board to guide us. We ask leaders of electoral systems that want to have their processes and key systems validated against consensus measures by an objective non-partisan organization to request and assessment. We need skilled process and systems auditors and assessors to donate their time to be trained and deliver consistent validation of processes and systems in requesting organizations relative to the consensus measures. Finally, we seek those that are willing to donate funds to cover potential travel and lodging expenses of the volunteer official assessors.

Thank you and I hope you will join us.

Kerry L. Bass, Chair

Center For Electoral Quality and Integrity