Can Experts Judge Elections? Testing the Validity of Expert Judgments for Measuring Election Integrity

21 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2013

See all articles by Ferran Martinez i Coma

Ferran Martinez i Coma

Griffith University

Carolien Van Ham

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Date Written: August 21, 2013

Abstract

We analyze three sources of bias that may arise in expert evaluations of election integrity: First, the object of evaluation may be defined and perceived differently by different experts. Election integrity is a complex, multi-faceted concept, and different experts may emphasize different aspects. Moreover, many aspects of election integrity are either quite technical or overt, both of which may limit the degree to which experts may be able to evaluate those aspects. Secondly, experts may differ, both in their level of expertise as well as in their degree of neutrality. For example, domestic experts may come to different conclusions about election integrity than international experts, as may experts with different levels and/or types of knowledge about elections (i.e. experts having been involved in election assistance for example may know more about the technical aspects of election integrity). Thirdly, contexts may differ, i.e. expert evaluations of election integrity may be context-bound, limiting the capacity of both concepts and data to “travel” (Sartori 1978). In this paper we test these three potential sources of bias using a unique new dataset on election integrity: The Perceptions of Electoral Integrity Dataset.

Keywords: Electoral Integrity, expert surveys, validity

Suggested Citation

Martinez i Coma, Ferran and Van Ham, Carolien, Can Experts Judge Elections? Testing the Validity of Expert Judgments for Measuring Election Integrity (August 21, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2314197 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2314197

Ferran Martinez i Coma (Contact Author)

Griffith University ( email )

Griffith University
Nathan, NC QLD 4111
Australia

Carolien Van Ham

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

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