Intense focus on the administration of elections has led to an increase in the number of poll watchers on hand during voting.
Members of the media, interest groups, political parties and even foreign delegations have ramped up their polling place observation efforts since 2000.
With new machines and procedures, the conduct of elections has become nearly as important as the outcome. First-person observation, media reports and field research can yield new insights into the election process, show where weaknesses might occur in the system and point to possible solutions to make voting more efficient, accurate and convenient.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, please visit electionline.org.