Pew supports innovative research and partnerships to achieve the highest standards of accuracy, cost-effectiveness, convenience, and security in America’s system of election administration.
Voting is our most fundamental responsibility as citizens—without it, our American democracy wouldn’t exist. Pew’s election work supports innovative research and partnerships to achieve the highest standards of accuracy, cost-effectiveness, convenience, and security in America’s system of election administration. Because effective elections systems are fundamental to our nation’s democracy, we examine pressing election problems, share successful practices, and undertake projects to help states implement efficient and cost-effective solutions.Why Election Administration Matters
American elections today operate much the way they did at the turn of the 20th century. Our work is aimed at modernizing elections systems, with a focus on three areas:
- Helping states improve voter registration systems, including maintaining accurate lists in a time of increased mobility;
- Collaborating with technology companies and state election offices to provide voters with easy access to official election information; and
- Strengthening research on election administration and developing data measures to provide an empirical assessment of how well our nation is conducting elections.
How We Conduct Our Work
- Policy Advocacy. In the states, we advocate for data-driven policies that make the best use of taxpayer resources while ensuring the highest standards of accuracy, convenience, security, and efficiency.
- Innovative Tools. We work with election officials, academics, and technology specialists to develop tools that help states streamline election processes and make the most of 21st-century technology.
- Research. We conduct policy-relevant research to identify areas of strength and weakness in current elections systems and to evaluate possible solutions. The findings help states improve the way elections are administered in the U.S.
- Information Sharing. Through events, online election dispatches, interactive graphics, and public appearances, we lead a national conversation on the importance of improved election systems. In doing so, we serve as a resource to state policy makers and election administrators making data-driven policy decisions.
Our WorkView All
Now that all chief election official races are decided, the new administrators are beginning to announce their policy goals for the coming year. Steve Simon (D), Minnesota’s incoming secretary of state, announced some of his objectives, which include automating voter registration at the Division of Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS). Read More
Of the approximately 125,000 ballots cast on Election Day last month in Washington, more than 20,000 were provisional, known in the city as “special” ballots. Read More
States have the discretion to test voting machines before an election to ensure that ballots display properly and that votes are cast and counted accurately. However, testing does not always catch every problem. During the 2014 midterm election, jurisdictions in Virginia and Texas experienced trouble with some of their machines. Read More
Election Data Dispatches
Data, research, and analysis about election administration.