Can Quality Concepts and Tools Fix the U.S. Election Process?

Abstract:Five months after the presidential election the true impact of election process errors and the importance of continuous improvement to the process is still becoming apparent. While media attention focused on Florida, the problem is far more widespread. The flawed election process damaged the credibility and legitimacy of nearly every major public institution that touched it. Quality concepts, methods, and tools can provide the framework for understanding the cause of errors and inaccuracies, and can provide a basis for improvement to the system. The author suggests formation of a nonpartisan commission whose recommendations are based on sound statistical and technological principles. Areas to be considered from a professional quality perspective include ballot design, performance standards for error rates, automatic recounts, manual recounts, and voter …

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