May 23, 2006 — Today and tomorrow, Thad Hall, a nationally recognized voting expert and assistant professor of political science at the University of Utah, will present an update on his research about best practices in vote counting and recounting to the United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Standards Board and its Board of Advisors in Washington, D.C.
In September 2005, the EAC, a bipartisan governmental agency charged with developing guidance and best practices related to election administration, engaged Hall to lead this research project studying ways to ensure accurate vote counting and recounting of ballots, which examines all state election laws related to these processes and defines related best practices. The project explores the complete voting process from the pre-election preparation and securing of voting machines and ballots through the post-election accounting and auditing processes in state and federal elections.
A researcher of methods used to cast votes in U.S. elections-including electronic voting technologies, such as touch screen and optical scan machines-Hall has completed his initial work collecting data as part of a 50-state survey assessing vote count and recount rules.
Hall and his team will present the EAC with a final report on best practices, as well as the results of the 50-state study, later this summer, in time to share the results of this research on election procedures with the EAC and election officials nationwide prior to the 2006 and 2008 general elections.
Hall’s research team on this project consists of Election Data Services, led by Kimball Brace, California Institute of Technology”s R. Michael Alvarez, co-director of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project, and electionline.org, a non-profit organization funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, led by Doug Chapin.
About Thad Hall
Thad Hall is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Utah where he teaches courses in public policy and administration. He is on staff at the University’s Center for Public Policy and Administration and the Institute for Public and International Affairs. Hall’s primary research focus is on the administration of elections, the implementation of voting technologies and public policy. He is the author of Authorizing Policy (2004, Ohio State University Press), a book investigating congressional policymaking. Hall co-authored Point, Click, and Vote: The Future of Internet Voting (2004, Brookings Institute Press) with R. Michael Alvarez. Currently they are writing a book examining electronic voting for Princeton University Press, as well as editing a book on detecting and preventing election fraud. Hall is co-founder and regular contributor to Election Updates (http://electionupdates.caltech.edu/blog.html), a widely read weblog on election reform and voting technology. Hall is also a collaborator with the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project. Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Utah in 2004, Hall served as Program Officer for The Century Foundation in Washington, D.C. where he studied issues associated with election reform and the Internet. In 2001, he served on the professional staff of the National Committee on Federal Election Reform. He has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about elections in the aftermath of a terrorist event, and before the EAC regarding the need for national standards for voter registration databases. Hall’s complete curriculum vita can be found at http://www.poli-sci.utah.edu/pdf/cv/hall_cv.pdf.