Date of Award

Summer 1988

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program/Concentration

Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Mark Fravel, Jr.

Committee Member

Robert Lucking

Committee Member

Katherine T. Bucher

Committee Member

Ellen L. Miller

Committee Member

Donald A. Myers

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate and assess factors which appeared to contribute to errors and omissions made by the citizens who worked as election officers in the polling places in Norfolk, Virginia on election day. The study was conducted in two phases during and immediately following the November general elections in 1986 and 1987.

In the first phase, a comparison was made of two different approaches to formatting election-day procedural materials--subject-formatting and time-formatting--in an effort to determine which approach appeared to have a greater influence on reducing the number of errors and omissions occurring in the polling places on election day. In the second phase, certain demographics were examined as factors which appeared to contribute to the number of errors and omissions. These included socioeconomic status of the election officers and the voters; age, experience, and education of the election officers; and voter turnout in the precinct. Finally, an investigation was conducted of overall management of the polling place by the election officers from the perspective of the electoral board, the voters, and the election officers themselves.

Five instruments were designed and developed to conduct the research for the two phases. Twelve hypotheses were tested; quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Quantitative data were analyzed using parametric and nonparametric statistics.

The major findings of this study support the use of subject-formatted procedural materials in reducing the number of errors and omissions in the polling place. Socioeconomic status and experience of the election officers, and voter turnout in the precinct, were found to be significant factors which affected the number of errors and omissions which occurred in the polling places. of errors and omissions was not found to be affected by the format of election-day materials or the socioeconomic status of the election officers.

Appendices include the five instruments used to collect the data for this study and qualitative data from the electoral board, the voters, and the election officers.

DOI

10.25777/fx5g-bv87

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