Vienna, 17 May 2022: In recent years, election administration has become a subject of intensified debates, raising questions of how to organize elections to ensure electoral integrity. One question concerns who should serve as members of polling station boards, administer election day proceedings, and participate in the vote count. Different models co-exist in modern democracies, with some countries – among them Austria – actively involving the political parties in the election administration.
Against this background, in a collaboration with the Vienna Center for Electoral Research (VieCER), Election-Watch.EU examined perceptions of electoral integrity among Austrian poll workers and citizens using data from an original survey of poll workers and survey data of the voting population. The resulting academic article, published in Electoral Studies as of June 2022, shows that poll workers have greater confidence in the election administration than regular voters but are equally or more skeptical regarding other aspects of electoral integrity. Also, their partisan background shapes perceptions of electoral integrity. To conclude, the article discuss the benefits and limitations of the ‘party model’ for poll worker recruitment.