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tv   Election Assistance Commission Summit - Panel on Election Efficiency  CSPAN  January 11, 2018 8:21pm-9:28pm EST

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with that, i will say that i am looking forward to today. it's always interesting to hear what folks have going on. i know i will have my note pad out when we talk about cyber security because i'm still figuring out where in that bowl i need put my spoon, but it should be a great day. i was honors to be invite to be here and can't wait to hear what all of you have to say. here's to a successful 2018. [ applause ] >> i first want to say thank you to chairman masterson for getting us kicked off here and for the great remarks. as commissioner masterson mentioned, the panel we have here is called election efficiency and integrity, improving the voter experience
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but most of this panel i think will be focussed on data and the importants of data and how we use it in the elections community. we have a great panel here for you. my staff has provided some abbreviated biographies which i'll read and then we'll start hearing from the panel. i've asked each of them to speak for about five minutes or so from their perspective on this panel and then i have some questions for them. and then we will go to questions for you. so before i get started, i want to thank you all for being here. really excited to kick off the 2018 elections. it'sard to believe it's already 2018. we're kicking off the elections but officials have already started working on this. so i know those of you who are
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election officials, this is not a kick off for you. and you all have been working on this election since the last election and i appreciate all the hard work you put in to making our elections so good in this country. to my right is secretary barbara since 2015. she has more than three decades of combined public service and prior to becoming secretary of state she represented clark county district eight and before that she was elected to three consecutive terms representing clark county district five and the nevada assembly. to my left is dr. christian, she is a senior researcher at the marsh group where she served as a lead researcher for the voting
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survey or eves and they did a fantastic job for us this year. let's make that a public statement and that's not an easy task and he's worked a number of and our friends at the federal voting agency. so thank you for being here. to my far right is michael. he's the register of voters for san bernardino, california which is the largest geographic in the country. he's worked for elections in three states and his expertise is in improving operations, reporting results quickly and accurately and while michael has made his mark at each post in san bernardino county, he has made the election office into a
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more efficient organization and i know it's quite an impressive operation. including the launch of new applications and redesign of the county's ballot. consolidation of underused polling places and much more. so we're excited to hear about what you're doing in your office in san bernardino. and to my far left, maybe politically, i don't know. probably of me. dr. stewart iii who -- am i saying at the right? distinguished professor of political science at the massachusetts institute of technology, mit, where he has taught since 1985. and his biggest research includes close looks inside congressional politics, elections and important american political developments. those of us in this room have come to rely on charles'
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undeniable ability to help us understand voters and how election administrators and and and they all have notes in front of them instead of power point. >> i've got to warn you. i'm an elections geek. so i'm going to refer to my notes to keep you on track. the goal is to conduct elections in a fair, accurate, alaska sesable and transparent manner. so meeting that goal is difficult. because our budgets are tight, our staff is small. we rely on temp workers and poll
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workers and the expectation is already going from the media and the public. so we're constantly thinking of new ways to improve our processes and one of the ways we can do that is to use data. and so we typically collect raw data, analyze that data and use it to convert it to information to improve our processes. traditionally the analysis to prepare that data has been simple. we look at the number of registered voters. we look at the historic turnout. we analyze how many ballots and we have put those computations into law. the issue though is that many times those computations are based on averages and averages across the county and that's helpful but it can be problem problematic and estimate how
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much supplies balance, etc. and stiemp said we waste money. in reality, many elections officials like myself have spent time to be more efficient. in my 18 year said in this business i've challenged my stafff to crunch their numbers and i always tell them they should have paid attention in math class. i remind them everything we do hads to be based on numbers. we have an elections analyst that does nothing but crunch numbers and develop processes all day for our different departments. so we currently analyze data in every area of our organization. in the process kind of goes like this. we collect data and i'm going to give you an example about how we look at polling places, for
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instance. so we collect data about the polling places. we find and inspect accessible polling places in quality places. i think we're going to talk about that this afternoon in one of the panels. we measure the square footage, then we collect data about voter behavior. we know historically we look at voter turnout and we look at where people live and we look at where they vote and we measure when people vote by the hour. and this is something that's kind of unique and i don't think too many counties do that. did they vote a regular ballot? a professional ballot or did they just drop off a vote by mail ballot at that location and then we also predict how the voter will behave on that election day. so we look at how long it takes a voter to drive to their
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location. we look at how long it takes to park their car how long it takes to process that voter and we gather that data. we also gather data about our poll worker to be there. how long does it take for a provisional supervisor to process a provisional voter and we take all this information and we crunch it. we calculate the capacity of each of our polling places. we inpresident trump and take that information and put it if had to soft ware and assign people to polling places. because the goal is to keep every polling place busy but not have to any polling place get overwhelmed. we also project the number of vote rbz by the hour at each polling place. we use this information to
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determine how many supply said we put at every location. how many booths, how many other supplies we need and how many ballots of each type and keep in mind that people always think of how menopy ballots. most election officials, it's not just a ballot. in our country it's over 400 different ballot types that we have to distribute through our county and we veto calculate the number of each of those types. we also assign the number of poll workers based on projections at each polling place and we do that for the peek hour. so the number of poll workers varies. it's not just three or five. it's anywhere from three to five or 18 different poll workers. we plan our lunch and dinner breaks so that we don't have people at break when we have a lot of voters coming. we found this data analysis is helpful and it's helped keep things smooth at the polling places. we also know it's not always
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dependable. so we also, in addition to prior to election day, on election day we actually survey each and every one of our polling places to find out what each one is like and then we make corrects as necessary and the result of our analysis has been that we've created a lot more convenience for our voters. we have very few lines and in their lines, the wait times are short. and we've used that money not just to give taxpayers back the money but inincrease our number of early voting sites. we conduct similar analysis for early voting for mail ballot drop offs and we'll use similar logic in the future and i'll be tapping into amber to see what they're doing in colorado to crunch their numbers.
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a couple other examples of data, we use it to speed up our ballot counting. we project time toads get ballots back and monitor progress. we analyze the time it takes to process ballots at each step of the way to process them, to count them, to duplicate ballots, store them and then we adjust as necessary. we also use numbers to train and assign our poll workers. but we have to contact over 10,000 people. we have to schedule over 7,000. we have to train over 5,000 and assign over 4,000 to get the 3500 to work on election day. we must also recruit and train people in six different languages. because we're a large area of 27,000 square miles, we train and assign by region.
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what we found is in each region so we use the information from our analysis to look at that behavior to have different projections in each different type of region so we're not short in any particular region. so that's a quick look at how we use data. it's made the voter experience better. we also passed information to state and federal officials to and we compare our performance against other jurisdikdss. >> great. thank you so much and there's an unending number of data points that we connect and do other things with. we go to the state level. the secretary from nevada and
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interested in hearing what you have to say. in the state of nevada we have 17 counties and of those we have 15 that are elected clerks and then two voter registers and we have a very large county from clark. and the pain that you're going with. but one of the things i wanted to explain to and that's unusual to me is to hear acronyms. they can mean something different. so i want to make sure you're aware of the acronyms i'll be using to talk about what we're required to do. one of them is the election administration that we do get it's a biannual survey administered by the eac.
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and that data that's collected includes and polling places, we also have what is the agency and it's a government agency designated by the federal or a state law that is required to offer its customers or clients in most circs the opportunity to vote. public assistance agencies like welfare or employment assistance agencies and disability service division and military recruitment offices. the next one is the cover transactions and every time a customer or a client with a vra is are equesting a service, filling outa form or
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application, the vra is require bide law to give the purseen the opportunity to register to vote. these are called covered transactions and two examples for us in nevada is when you're going to do anything with your driver's license at the dmv or a person submitting that application for welfare assistance. and then the national voter registration act, the nrva, that is a 1993 federal law also known as the motor voter law that requires the dmv and public assistance agencies to register to vote. so with those i just wanted to make sure everybody knows our acronyms. in nevada we use data to improve the administration of elections and voter experience in several ways and among other things it's county focusing on transactional
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data to monitor the effectiveness. so on a regular base we're looking at what they give us to find out if it's accurate and if there's any issues we might see. we coordinate routine reporting and nevada local election officials as well and the vote r registration agencies record and report the number of cover transactions whether the client chooses to register during the covered transaction and if they're going to sentd it in later, those numbers are tracked. we know they have them and that's where they got that application. and the number each local vra office transmits to the county election office. they track and report the number. and instead of that information to the secretary of state's office. and the secretary of state
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receives monthly reports thrum department of motor vehicles. and these reports are made available online for the secretary of state nevada at www.nvso www.nvsos.gov. as wellads identify best practices. and i'll give you an example. if a significant decrease from previous reporting periods is in the number of voter applications being transported, the secretary of state program staff and the voter registration agency will investigate to determine the cause in whether any corrective action is taken and we do that on a regular basis between the two agencies. then we're evaluating the
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disposition among offices is another metric program staff uses to identify where review and corrective action might be necessary and an example is a local voter registration office that exhibits lower than average completed voter registration applications or rejected applications can indicate potential issues and the need for vra staff to review training materials. the secretary of state's office puts this data collection if to charts and graphs which allows for the review of large amounts of data at a glance as well as the identification of statistical variation sdwhz comparison of data over a period of time and other data sets and the example for this is the department of human services and reports multiple figures.
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and then collecting that this data on covered transactions from voter registration agencies allows the secretary of state to be proactive with any of the advocacy groups and innive nv uses turnout also to identify best practices at the local levels. so we feel very confident in the information we're getting and being able to work with any of the agencies in nevada to see if we have any issues or where we might need to go in a different direction or look at how we might need to change what we're doing.
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so look forward to the next part. >> really the goal here is to make the process better for the voter and you know serve our taxpayers better as with el. we're serving public serve ntsz at least this time of the aisle and collecting that data ma makes -- so from the west side of the country i'm now turning to the other side of the country. and two panelists to my left are both researchers, academics and interested in hearing what you all have to say on what you've seen with the data and how to make things more efficient and bring integrity. >> i'm a senior researcher at
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marsh group. we had had had a pleasure of working to administer the 2016 election administration and voting survey. and our election officials are exemplerry of how powerful data can be and really evaluate whether the policies that we have in place, the processed and the investments that we're making in the election system are having the intentded effect. it big challenge that we dealt with as part of the election administration and voting survey is how can we learn from each other. they talked about elections create so much data and we have great examples of harnessing that data to do one ffs job better and make sure elections are run well but i think it's
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important to remember and i'm lucky i'm on one of the early panels. and there are thousands of independent elections run at it state and local levels. and they're at their own processes. and we talk about acronyms and defining those. it's really important. because having we really struggled to talk to each other. so the election administration and voting survey for those of you who don't know, it is a large scale -- the only large scale data collection instrument for administrative data on elections in the u.s. calling it a survey is a bit of a misnomer. it's a collection of administration in the united states.
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registration turnout and military and overseas voting, technology and our processies. and what's remarkable is 2004 was the first eves survey was field and it's remarkable to think fundamental questions about elections in the united states, so for example how many precincts and polling places in the united states. it's mind bog tooling think there was no one place that you could find that information. it seems so basic and fundamental. thencer to that question for 2016 was they're about 178,000 individual precincts. and about 116,000, almost 1 117,000 individual polling places. about 8500 early voting locations in the u.s. i will caveat and say those numbers are difficult to interpret.
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i think a couple of other highlights that we learned from 2016 and there were about local election and state election officials processed about 77.5 million registration forms. by far the dmv, or department of motor vehicle offices about a third were coming from our dmvs. one change from previous elections was increasing use of online voter registration systems. so we had had 17.4% coming from online systems and that rr up in 2012. only about 5%. so big jump there. similarly e poll books we saw an increase in e poll books since 2016 since 2012.
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2.5 million provisional ballots. about half of which came from california. overall about 71% counted in part or full. so that's an important way, metric to consider how well that protection is working. very active overseas voter population. we saw about 178 thousand ballots transmitted. it's about 100,000 more than 2012. almost 80% were ultimately returned and counted. so these are important pieces of information of how elections in the united states are doing and again from all jurisdictions across it country while these are sort of neat insights, i think what is important about the eves since it started is that it help us develop a common
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language to talk about elections with and our secretary from nevada mentioned this. without a common definition of these basic terms what do we mean by an accepted ballot? we really can't. it becomes difficult to make these comparisons. frrbs this year the fetd federal voting assistance program through their overseas voting nishsive roon a section be working group and brought together to talk about the section of military and overseas voter section of theese to talk about the challenges that they face for collecting that data and reporting it. and helped define those. we were able to define across the sections. and really when we have this
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common language to talk to each other it really unlocks the possibility of using all the data that get collected or more of the data because it really is copious amounts. not -- in order to report to the eves. not even necessarily to do this amazing work evaluating and refining one's processes at an individual level but to administer elections. this is the tool that on the ground make sure elections are happening and so it's exciting. there are so many possibilities out there already moving to projects with common data, data standardization where we're looking at directly from the data being collected at a transactional level and how can we take it from multiple jurisdikdss. i believe it was 13 involved in that project this year. how can we make these transactional data talk to each other? to standardize it in a way we
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can gain insite into the election process and improve the election process in the united states. so very exciting opportunities in the future and i think the eves is such an important part of that. >> an important part of that. >> it does show us the picture nationwide down to the challenges and smaller levels and smaller jurisdiction levels really great. as we continue to work on that with our partners and researchers will make it even better. it's invaluable information. with that, i go to dr. stewart. thank you for being here and for your comments. >> it's great to be here and thank you for inviting me. i'd like to talk about our
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locations. those of us in this business, the goal we try to achieve is making it better, it is an effort to agree to which we might have certain values how we maybe think about achieving those goals and oftentimes we can have questions based on the facts. and those of us geeks and i think those of us on the panel are geeks, to see how much we base our knowledge and actions on the evidence in front of us. i think there's a lot of success stories i will talk about a little bit in a second, where, when we focus on the facts, we
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can really make a lot of progress. that's the important thing here. the topic today is making the experience better for the voters and the nation. the way i jump into this as an election geek is thinking back to the year 2000 and the event that got me actively involved in studying election administration and many people around the country interested noticed, geez, there's something interesting here in election administration. that was the florida recount and being a native floridian i was especially -- having been registered to vote when i was 18 years old by my second grade sunday schoolteacher i've always been very interested in election administration from a young age.
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the interesting thing to me as an academic about the florida recount, once we took a deep breath to figure out what was going on was to understand first whether what happened in florida was a one off situation or was it common. secondly, try to figure out how bad is it after all? the best of elections from time-to-time will be close. the fact you have a recount is not a problem. in fact, that's a good thing to try to get the answer right. the question is are the problems that emerge during a recount, are they general and specific to a place and how big are they? in turns out in 2000 there wasn't a good sense about the answers to these questions. is florida one off or not? have these problems persisted a
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longs time or not? when help america vote act passed in 2002, the question became we will spend a couple billion to make elections better. how will we know if that money was well spent. all of these come down to questions of fact and data. in 2000 it was interesting to me as a quantitative social scientist all the data collected very little has been used for management purposes and assessing how well elections were run. that was one of the things we did in an organization i continued to lead formerly the cal tech mit voting project. i like to call it the mit-cal tech voting project. what we did was we looked around to find ways in which we could use data already being collected, to answer this question. how bad was it in florida?
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how does it compare to other states? how does it compare to the past? in part we discovered -- i discovered someone named kim who i saw over here collecting for many many years turnout data and election return data about data technologies discovered the census bureau had been asking voters questions for many many years about problems they had when they turned out to vote and discovered there was a load of data that could be used to assess the elections and chart the improvement. we discovered in 2000 when we amassed all this data and looked at it from the perspective of how many lost votes were there in 2000? by a lost vote, think about it this way, wake up on election day, back in the days we all voted on election day intending to vote, you as a voter do everything right and at the end of the day the vote you cast is
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not counted or even you're not allowed to vote because there was a screw up in your voter registration. how many votes was that? we discovered that in the florida recount. between 1.5 to 2 million votes on that election day were lost because of failures in voting machines, hanging chads, poorly maintained mechanical machines, almost 2 million voters in an electorate of 100 million. and 1.5 and 3 million people did not get to vote because of problems with voter registration. we further discovered 1 million people walked away from the polls because of long lines or other problems in the polling places. an unknown problem at the time absentee ballots we later
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discovered to be of a similar magnitude. millions of people in 2000 and also 1996 and 1992, had done everything right and didn't have their vote counted. fast forward, it turns out using the same methods we see that roughly three-quarters of those votes that were lost because of voting machine problems have gone away. but half of voter registration lost votes have gone away. about a quarter of the polling place problems have gone away. in other words, we have, in the 2016 election, 2012 election, 2008 election, 2004 election, there have been a couple million more voters in america who had their counted purely because we
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got better at running elections and we were able to documents that. that's a valuable thing both to understand how well our democracy runs, understand how to make it better and understand how to use our limited resources mentioned several times to target where to make things better. as an academic, i'm interested in these things because i'm curious about everything in a perverse way. the use of data like this that comes from a wide variety of sources can help us to pinpoint where problems already. as an aside, oftentimes when one discovers there are problems with voting machines or long lines, it is a hard to tell is this a problem everywhere or a few places and understanding not only the magnitude of the problem and where to focus attention is important. it turns out in 2000 just about
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everybody had problems with voting machines. in fact, there was one state. i don't want to shame anybody, we'll make up a name we'll call smorgia, had even bigger problems than florida in lost and poorly maintained voting machines. guess what, they got to the data we did and they got really good at their data machine management. targeting, finding out where the problems are and go after a similar problem. in 2012, all we cared about was waiting in long lines all the time rather than the 2016 election, it was a similar thing. how bad is the line problem? it turns out just about every newspaper or news website in america on election day has a picture of a lot of people standing in line waiting to vote at 7:00 in the morning.
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well, is that generally true or is it just because there's like one precinct everywhere and everywhere else is good? how extensive is the problem? where should we concentrate our resources and how will we know when we did better. it's not that election officials have been gathering data so much although it sounds like in san bernardino they have been, we've been gathering data to assess where the problems are to make things better in 2016. we were already asking voters how long they had to wait to vote. we discovered there were about a half-dozen states this was a problem statewide. city-wide, problems that needed to be looked at and other places
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in america it wasn't an endemic problem. here, we had to create data gathering processes since it is not an unusual practice to count how many people were in line on a regular basis. working with the bipartisan policy center we developed local protocols for election officials to count up the line and turn those numbers into estimates. i can report in 2016 where we went back and asked voters how long they waited in line and stated they had really long lines, south carolina, virginia, maryland, those sorts of places, and florida, famously florida, their lines were cut in half, by three-quarters. part of that is -- that's the start of a lot of different things going on. part of that was a story of
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figuring out ways to instrument actual polling places to understand where the problems were because every polling place wasn't a problem child and to respond. to my perspective, when ever i give my big talk how things are going in america, for those who have seen the one hour version of these talks, i often start with my favorite video which most of us saw in high school or college about the powers of 10. i use that video to illustrate there are different levels of understanding the world, one, being elections. we can understand what's happening at a national level anthropology places and we need to understand those levels. i think a comprehensive program of assessing elections in america are looking at all those
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levels. the final thing i will say to close up, due to the generosity of the carnegie corporation i have a year off to write about elections in america. the working subtitle -- the working title and subtitle, "voting in america" "feeling better but feeling worse." the subtitle, there continues oftentimes a sense america in certain places is a banana republic and we can never quite get it right. i think of the story as quite a different one. the evidence is we are getting better and have a positive story. there are challenges. the trick is to measure what the challenges are, instrument voting so we can use our limited time and money efficiently to make elections even better and
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overcome the new challenges that continue to be thrown at us. thank you. >> thank you, dr. stewart. i joke about our reinvest political positions -- relative political positions but really we come together and what are the facts and how can we find common ground to make the elections better for election administrator and those reporting on it and especially for the voters. >> even though we are possibly of different parties all throughout our community we have the same focus to make sure people get out and continue to vote. with that i'll ask a couple questions of the panel and then to the audience. we don't have a huge amount of time but those were longer than five minute presentations but well worth listening to.
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as we've heard, elections do create a lot of data. i will start on this side, what are the two sets of data you think are the most important for voters to understand how elections work? >> i guess i am on this side. we've already established that. when i go around and i talk about elections, it seems to me voters don't have the basic contours how we vote. voters in the west are amazed how we vote in the east and visa-versa. it's a matter of educating voters how we vote, by mail and in person although one line of controversy and policy, things like voter id and those sorts of things, people don't know what happens in other states. necessary kind of basic facts like that. how do we vote?
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how do we register or check in and do things? one thing i find interesting and you pointed on it is the next fact after the number of precincts. i think this can set some context of an election. after between 100 and 200,000 precincts we have about 100 poll workers on elections day. that is the challenge and greatest democratic mobilization in this country. we failed to appreciate the size of that effort and importance of that effort. that's a fact i wish more voters knew and more policymakers knew. >> as a poll worker in prince william county, virginia, i also agree with that because unlike our friends on the west coast, we don't get lunch breaks and
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stuff. definitely, i'm all about that. >> lunch breaks. >> 41% or so of people in the 2016 election voted before election day, by mail, early voting, absentee voting. that really is important. those dynamics i agree with you 100%. and we stay there aggregated up from the voting machine and precinct and county and state level. i think there is a need for more localism in some of the data that are reported. people are interested in how their neighborhood voted or how many turned out. that is something -- i think there is an interest in and that is lacking. >> i will go with something different on this side. you talked about a lot of the data that both of you used to analyze your elections and how things are going and where you need to fix things.
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do you also use that data in budget discussions? in resource allocation, things of that nature? >> certainly. i talked about how we -- the county administrators just want to save money. what we do, we say we will save money here and use to it expand our services there. we certainly do use this analysis in our budget discussions. i just wanted to touch base, on the last question, because i was anxious to answer that one. if we're talking about educating voters, the number one way that they get educated was through our website. one of the greatest tools ever is google analytics. back in 2012 we redesigned our website and we thought we knew what we were doing and thought it was great. we looked at our google
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analytics and say people are still confused and still have a hart time finding things and adjusted our website to that and went further and created an application instead of searching information we logged in to feed them that information. the google analytics helped educate those voters. >> you can answer one or both of those questions. >> to be honest, yes, data does help us, in any budget discussion, we go before the legislature we bring them examples, we bring them statistics. those are very very helpful in any of the discussions about making new laws and budget as well. the effectiveness of the voter registration, i think, is something we needed to point out as well, is, you know, not only in the voter registration
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agencies, but we have online. there is a lot more we could be analyzing and looking at. we do a lot. i noticed california from listening to my colleague here they do an awful lot more than we do. that's one of the criteria is a problem, is that we all don't do the same and so we have smaller comparison, if we can be on the same page along with the acronyms what we're collecting and analyzing it state to state. >> that's why these conversations are important to hear what other people are doing and apply it to our own office. i will go to the audience since we don't have too much time. i will take questions.
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we have a couple roving microphones and i will go over here. >> first, this was excellent. thank you all very much. i have a question for dr. stewart and the rest of the panel. when you pointed out those wonderful improvements and more people actually getting their votes counted, did i get it right that the least improvement was problems in the polling place? if i heard you properly, i'm wondering if you and the panelists have any ideas about what can be done to improve that area? >> thank you. >> very quickly, since jim directed the question to me and i'm sure the rest of the panelists have better ideas than i do.
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yes, you heard me right. which is that the polling places that lagged behind from 2,000, the observation i make when i talk at greater length about this is that if you think about the other big problems that were identified in 2000, voting machines, voter registration, each have a magic bullet associated. get new voting machines and get new ballots. those are things that can be implemented from the top down and just a matter sometimes of spending money. polling places are managing a million people and that's more like pushing wet spaghetti. management of people is a huge problem in general. it strikes me in many ways the polling problems the smallest in number are the most vexing because of the nature of the
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problem. >> the only comment i have for the poll workers is what i hear from the 17 counties in nevada, is that we get volunteers. we have seniors, we have people sometimes new or been there for a long time and don't know the new laws specifically. but we do training and try to improve the training and have human beings doing the work. it's an issue. we're really happy they're there and have the knowledge they do. a mixed bag sometimes. >> other questions from the audience? >> dr. stewart, you mentioned the difference between quantitative and qualititive. i'd like you to talk about that
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as to how it relates to how election officials might conduct that type of analysis. mr. scorpel lo, you analyzed a lot of data. how would they go about analyzing that data? >> real quickly because i'm really interested in the answer to the second question. certainly, look, the advantage of quantifying things is it is a different way, a mass way of moving in a wholesale manner in management. the qualitative data by which i think the question implies talking to people fills in why it is that you might have a problem here or a problem there and certainly, again, like any sort of management tool, that
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there's a variety of ways approaching the data that are certainly going to be powerful. >> i will say your office is not huge, maybe smaller than the eac. only about 45 people? >> we are probably the smallest elections office per capita in the country. we only have 28 employees to serve the population of 2 million people in 20,000 square miles. the important thing is to get buy-in from management to get the county invest in analytics. to participate on a national level from sections like this, the election center and down chapen's organization and learn from each other is the best way
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to improve processes. i think we've seen that a lot. when i got into this business in 52000, in the bush v gore year. i was shocked. they were using typewriters and weren't even use computers. we've come a long way because people share for the. >> i think on the qualitative end it's an front question. with these jurisdictions collecting their own data, that's a blind spot i think what these are. i think qualitatively going out, who's inputting data. how they're connected. how are they classifying. are dates being put in to be
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realistic or fill a gap in the end? these things would help in the qualitative end. >> question from the audience? >> i have a question around early voting and data. lateral voting varies democratically by state from a couple weeks to either jurisdictional perspective or academic national survey perspective. the first couple of days, there's a huge tinflux. does that var by election day and do states look to that to contract or add to their voting?
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for their highest usage rate? >> anybody want to respond? >> yed. >> if i understand your question right, you're talking about the early voting and transit we see from the beginning to the end of that. we see -- usually you could just stop and see who wins or loses in nevada just because people come out in the early vote and numbers are very high. one of the things it depends on are weekends. we have malls and community centers. there's that trend of high numbers in the beginning, not so much in the middle but big
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turnout. i think it depends on the names, i don't know of everybody has it at this time, it's very popular in nevada. >> people have habits in voting. they get used to voting a certain way. to change those habits is hard. in california, we increased it. in 2008 we had as many people voting early as election day. amber took that concept and changed it to early voting all the time. we're kind of going through that transition in california right now, expanding early voting, starting to catch on. this last presidential year e
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exploded and we 10 to grow in the future. >> really quickly, states vary in the actual database they release. if one is inclined to dig into a voter file, i would love to check north carolina, it's all within their absentee file. you can get down to the time of kay of all their early voters. i think that's a sandbox for those who took punching numbers. >> hi, i'm excited about the focus of analytics and we had polls of voters' confidence in
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the elections and i'm wondering if turning the analytic eye to counting of the ballots by hand or releasing digital ballot images to the public so analysis could be made of etch -- image. i think the ballots is where people would like to see more progress. i'd taken an answer on that from any of you. >> anybody take that on? >> i have one answer, and then rotate it. i study a lot in voter confidence and opinion.
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voters are confident about state level and skeptical nationwide. the thing that moves voter confidence is whether your candidate wins or loses. there's nothing i or my colleagues have done, there is nothing in the election administration that appreciably moves it. having said that, i think there are very good reason doings things like risk limiting audits and other technique business that assure voters who are paying attention, election officials and candidates that the vote was counted properly. my own take on things is that it can be -- if one wants to hang reforms of election administration on voter confidence one may be disappointed because on voters aren't basing their confidence in the system, as far as we can tell from the research on the election administration thing?
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interestingly, we don't count ballots on a national level. we just don't. in a federal general election year. >> it goes back to your comment about process as well. there's a lack of understanding of this complicated process. >> voter education. >> what you're looking at is a perception problem, not an actual problem, perception problem. rather than changing the process we have to educate people. we find when we have that candidate that loses they come in the day after the election and say, this is all crooked. we walk them through about every aspect we have done in that election. by the time they walk out 99.99% of the time they're satisfied. it's the same with the pick, and if we do, i think they will have a lot more confidence.
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>> any other questions from the audience? yes. >> how are you guys using data for listening activities, local and statewide. >> she wanted to know how you're doing it for listing activities. >> list maintenance with the help of the american vote act in 2002, we had over 3,000 county databases and now we have 50 state databases. california made this change in 2015, with a statewide a list, it becomes a more efficient list.
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audio difficulties. >> it's great to be here. i'll take a minute and thank you very much.
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>> we'll be back with more from the election assistance summit in just a moment. two house leaders on c-span. steny hoyer. speaker ryan talks about the forum in 2018. >> i don't think it will work anyway. fori can't imagine the treasury and irs would let that happen. it is beyond reason to think tax regulations would allow that to happen. >> i expect us to retake the house in the majority. i do so because i think the
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environment is such that the american people are looking for stability and focus in issues of things they care about and healthcare and the environment and terms of our national security. i think they view democrats as being able to provide some stability to our country and proper check and balance to our system when we see a president who has trouble creating stability within the white house much less within our government. >> watch c-span's interview with speaker paul ryan friday morning during "washington journal" at 7:00 a.m. eastern. steny hoyer on news makers, sunday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. now, back to the election assistance commission summit. on this panel, we'll hear from the secretary of state from rhode island and

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