Institute of Public and International Affairs (IPIA)
Monson, J. Quin; Patterson, Kelly D.
Human dimension of elections: how poll workers shape public confidence in elections
The role of voting technologies has received considerable attention since the 2000 election. However, the voter experience at the polling place and especially the voter-poll worker interaction is also of critical importance. Rarely are poll workers considered an arm of the government, even though they clearly operate as extensions of governmental actors as street-level bureaucrats. Poll workers exercise discretion in ways that directly affect the voting experience. We examine the relationship between votersÃ¢â‚¬��„¢ perceptions of the poll worker job performance and confidence that the election process produces fair outcomes and that ballots were counted accurately. In an ordered logit model, perceptions of poll workers is a significant predictor of both variables related to voter confidence in the presence of numerous controls suggesting that overlooking the recruitment and training of competent poll worker can have a detrimental effect on voter confidence.