Mapping the UOCAVA Voting Process Through Modeling

In 2017, the Overseas Voting Initiative (OVI) published Using Technology to Enhance Military & Overseas Voting Vol. 2: Recommendations for Use of Data Standardization and Performance Metrics, a report identifying the need for the development and implementation of the Elections Administration Voting Survey, Section B (ESB) Data Standard. This standard seeks to capture anonymized, transactional level data about the voting experience of citizens living abroad as well as members of the armed forces and their family members. As jurisdictions fully integrate the ESB Data Standard with existing election administrative systems, election officials will achieve the following aims:

  • Enhance their ability to identify factors that lead to voter success and allow for analysis across jurisdictions.
  • Ease the burden of post-election reporting.
  • Support the identification of best practices to improve customer service, among others

For more information about the benefits of the ESB Data Standard, visit  https://ovi.csg.org/esb-data-standard/

Generating the Process Model

To conduct the process modeling exercise, the OVI—the interviewers—will convene a small group of state and local election officials—the subjects. Together, these teams will walk through each election jurisdiction’s UOCAVA voting processes and generate a visual model articulating the key steps within each process (see Figure 1).

Business Process Model for Maintaining remote voter lists.
Figure 1: Maintain Remote Voter List

According to John Dziurłaj, Solutions Architect at The Turnout and chair of the EAC-NIST Election Modeling Public Working Group , the size and structure of the subject group is vital to the success of this exercise. Smaller subject groups ensure quick resolutions to any disagreements and also facilitate discussion regarding deciding on and interpreting common terms. The size and composition of the subject group ensures that all discussions remain relevant to the exercise.

The Pennsylvania Pilot

In September of 2020, the OVI initiated its first process modeling pilot with state and local election officials from Pennsylvania. Both the workability of the state’s existing EAVS Section B data as well as their administrative capacity to collaborate with CSG on these efforts have uniquely positioned them to participate in the pilot.

In the months to come, five participating counties will assemble subject teams and attend virtual convenings to examine the UOCAVA voting process within their local context. By mid 2021, the OVI will publish a comprehensive analysis of the pilot’s outcomes and its implications for a future expansion.

For questions regarding the Overseas Voting Initiative process modeling exercises or the ESB Data Standard Roundtrip Pilot, please reach out to the OVI team or email elections@csg.org.

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