The Administrators of Democracy: A Research Note on Local Election Officials
Public Administration Review, September October 2008
12 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2019
Date Written: September 10, 2008
Local election officials are the administrators of democracy, but we know little about their views. This paper draws from two national surveys of local election officials. The authors find that local election officials generally support the goals of the federal Help America Vote Act but are less enthusiastic about the actual impact of the legislation. Implementation theory helps explain their evaluation of federal reforms. Goal congruence with reform mandates, resource availability, and a willingness to accept federal involvement predicts support for these reforms. Federal policy changes have promoted electronic systems, and some of the authors’ findings are relevant
to research on e-government. Users of electronic voting machines tend to have high confidence in them despite the significant criticism the machines have faced. Local election officials who support e-government generally are more likely to more positively evaluate federal reforms.
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