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Harvard June 2013

Concepts and Indices of Electoral Integrity

The second annual Workshop of the Electoral Integrity Project met from 3-4 June 2013 to discuss "Concepts and Indices of Electoral Integrity" 

The event was held at the Weatherhead Center for international Affairs, 1730 Cambridge Street (CGIS South), Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 02138.

The papers from the workshop are now available for download. Each individual paper is linked to in the agenda below.

Also available is a large Acrobat PDF file containing ALL workshop materials and papers, including the agenda, local logistics, participant biographies and contact details, and full text papers. This is most useful to download for tablet readers like iPads; use the 'view bookmark' facility to skip between papers. The file is available for download here.

Suggested citation: <Author> 2013. <Title> Paper presented at the Electoral Integrity Project annual workshop on 'Concepts and Indicators of Electoral Integrity', Weatherhead Center, Harvard University, 3-4th June 2013.

All the workshop photos are available as a montage at Facebook:

Aims and objectives

Countries around the world share challenges in meeting international standards of electoral integrity. The most overt malpractices used by rulers include imprisoning dissidents, harassing adversaries, coercing voters, vote-rigging counts, and finally, if losing, blatantly disregarding the people’s choice. Serious violations of human rights, undermining electoral credibility, are widely condemned by domestic observers and the international community.  Recent protests about integrity have been mobilized in countries as diverse as Russia, Mexico and Egypt.

In many countries, however, minor irregularities are more common, exemplified by inaccurate voter registers, maladministration of polling, pro-government media, lack of security in absentee ballots, vote miscounts, and gerrymandering. Problems in America are exemplified by the notorious hanging chads in Florida in 2000 and accusations of voter fraud and voter suppression during the Obama-Romney contest.  

In response to these developments, recent years have seen growing attempts to analyze flaws in electoral integrity using systematic evidence, including the development of several cross-national data-sets, the use of techniques of forensic analysis, and new instruments monitoring mass and elite perceptions of malpractices (see the discussion of 'data' on this website). 

It is timely to take stock of these developments. This workshop sought to bring together international experts among scholars and practitioners to discuss cutting edge research on electoral integrity.


Printable PDF copy of the Agenda, Paper Abstracts, Participant Bios, and a Campus Map are available for download in this Dropbox folder.

Electoral Integrity Project 2013 Annual Workshop


The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs,

Harvard University, S020, CGIS-South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA 02138.

3-4 June 2013

Final agenda


Travel and arrival for non-resident paper-givers, check into The Charles Hotel, One Bennett Street, Cambridge MA 02138. (617) 882.1200.

07.00-09.00 pm

Optional informal supper welcoming non-resident paper-givers, Henrietta’s Table, The Charles Hotel.




Workshop meeting in S020, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, CGIS-South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA 02138


Visitors meet in the lobby of the Charles Hotel to be escorted to Weatherhead Center. Contact: Sandra Urquiza

09.00-09.30 am

Registration, continental breakfast and refreshments available

09.30-10.00 am

Welcome and workshop opening

Chair: Pippa Norris (Harvard University and the University of Sydney)

Welcome by Beth Simmons, Weatherhead Center Director, Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs, Department of Government, Harvard University

10.00-11.30 am

Panel 1: New comparative evidence and data

Chair:  Pippa Norris  (Harvard University and the University of Sydney)


1.1 Pippa Norris (Harvard University and the University of Sydney) The new research agenda studying electoral integrity

1.2 Pippa Norris  (Harvard/Sydney), Jorgen Elklit (Aarhus University) and Andrew Reynolds (UNC Chapel Hill) Which contests meet international standards of electoral integrity? Developing a perceptions of electoral integrity index.

1.3 Ferran Martínez i Coma and Richard W. Frank (University of Sydney): Measuring electoral integrity: Introducing the expert survey of perceptions of electoral integrity. 

1.4 Sarah Birch (University of Essex/Glasgow) Using mixed-methods approaches to analyse the causes and consequences of electoral malpractice

Discussant: Dawn Brancati (University of Washington, St Louis)

11.30-11.45 am

Coffee and tea  break

11.45-01.00 pm

Panel 2: United States Exceptionalism?

Chair: Richard W. Frank (University of Sydney)

2.1 Paul Gronke (Reed College) Are we confident in voter confidence? Observations on perceptual measures of electoral integrity

2.2 Thad Hall (University of Utah) and Charles Stewart (MIT) Attitudes toward election fraud in the 2012 US elections.

2.3 Walter Mebane (University of Michigan) Using digits to diagnose strategies and frauds

2.4 Emily Beaulieu (University of Kentucky) Political parties and perceptions of election fraud in the U.S. 

Discussant: Steven Ansolabehere (Harvard University)  

01.00 pm

Participant photo

01.05-02.00 pm

Buffet lunch

02.00-03.30 pm

Panel 3: Comparative electoral institutions

Chair: Ferran Martínez i Coma (University of Sydney)


3.1 Carolien van Ham (University of Twente) Getting elections right? Measuring electoral integrity

3.2 Toby James (University of East Anglia) Organizational performance in Electoral Management Boards: The new challenges in running British elections.

3.3 Nils-Christian Bormann (ETH Zurich) and Matt Golder (Pennsylvania State University) Democratic electoral systems around the world, 1946-2011

3.4 Svitlana Chernykh (Oxford University), Zachary Elkins (University of Texas at Austin), James Melton (University College London), and Tom Ginsburg (University of Chicago)  Constitutions and the management of elections. 

3.5 Alistair Clark (Newcastle University) Does spending on elections matter for election quality? 

Discussant: Jorgen Elklit (Aarhus University)

3.30-04.00 pm

Coffee and tea break

04.00-05.30 pm

Panel 4: Detecting Fraud

Chair: Richard W. Frank (University of Sydney)


4.1 Erica Shein and Chad Vickery (IFES) Inviting examination of fraud and malpractice in Afghanistan: A new methodology for ensuring integrity in elections. 

4.2 Fabrice Lehoucq (University of North Carolina, Greensboro)  and Kiril Kolev (Hendrix College) Varying the unvariable: Social structure, electoral formulae, and ballot-rigging 

4.3 Staffan Darnolf (IFES) Combating electoral fraud: Methodological lessons learned from non-election actors.

4.4 James D. Long (University of Washington), Michael Callen (UCLA), Clark C. Gibson (UCSD), and Danielle F. Jung (Emory), Scalable information and communications technology reduces electoral fraud in fragile democracies

4.5 Fredrik M. Sjoberg (Columbia University) Political parties and election fraud 

Discussant: Yusaku Horiuchi (Dartmouth College)

05.30-07.00 pm

Break and relaxation

07.00-09.00  pm

Drinks reception and workshop dinner for paper-givers and discussants, The Faculty Club, 20 Quincy St, Harvard University




Meeting continues in S020, The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, CGIS-South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA 02138

08.30-09.00 am

Buffet breakfast and refreshments

09.00-10.30 am

Panel 5:  Latin American elections

Chair: Ferran Martínez i Coma (University of Sydney)


5.1 Mitchell Seligson and Arturo Maldonado (Vanderbilt University) Trust in elections in the Americas: 2004-2012

5.2 Cesar Cansino (Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla) How to celebrate unauthentic elections without dying in the attempt? the case of Mexico in comparative perspective (Note: unable to attend due to ill-health)

5.3 Andreas Schedler (CIDE) The societal subversion of electoral integrity: Criminal violence and democracy 

5.4 Antonio Ugues Jr (University of California-Riverside) Explaining the performance of electoral management bodies in new democracies: A comparative analysis of Central America 

5.5 Rodolfo Sarsfield (Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro) Electoral manipulation matters: Measuring vote induction in Mexico. 

Discussants: Steve Levitsky (Harvard University) and Susan Hyde (Yale)

10.30-11.00 am

Coffee and tea break

11.00-12.30 pm

Panel 6: International Norms and Standards

Chair: Richard W. Frank (University of Sydney)


6.1 Avery Davis-Roberts and David J Carroll (Carter Center) International obligations for democratic elections: Concepts and methods for assessing elections

6.2 Ursula Daxecker (University of Amsterdam) and Gerald Schneider (University of Konstanz) Dial M for 2nd Monitor: When do incumbents benefit from multilateral election monitoring?

6.3 Michael Lidauer (Goethe University Frankfurt) Enhancing electoral integrity in Myanmar

Discussant: Andreas Schedler (CIDE)

12.30-02.00 pm

Buffet lunch

02.00-03.30 pm

Panel 7: Citizens' confidence in African elections

Chair: Pippa Norris  (Harvard University and University of Sydney)


7.1 Robert Mattes (University of Cape Town) The sources and consequences of popular perceptions of the freeness and fairness of elections: Evidence From the Afro-barometer (via videoconference)

7.2 Nicholas Kerr (Michigan State University) Public perceptions of election quality in Africa: A cross-national analysis

 7.3 Halfdan Lynge-Mangueira (University of Oxford) How to rig an election

7.4 Anna Lührmann (Humboldt University) International electoral assistance and the credibility of elections: Comparing recent elections in Sudan, Libya and Jordan 

Discussant: Nahomi Ichino (Harvard University)

03.30-3.45 pm

Coffee and tea break

03.45-04.45 pm

Panel 8: Round-table on international priorities for strengthening electoral integrity

Chair: Pippa Norris 

Eric Bjornlund (Democracy international)

David Carroll (Carter Center)

Staffan Darnolf (IFES)

Annette Fath-Lihic (International IDEA)

Aleida Ferreyra (UNDP)

Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian (Organization of American States)

Chad Vickery (IFES)

04.45-5.00 pm

Closing remarks and publication plans.

End of conference and departure


Optional signup cultural events for visitors:

Optional guided walking historical tour of Harvard, starting at the Holyoake Information Center, 1350 Mass Ave, Cambridge MA 02138 ($10 per person).


Boston Duck Tour  ($32 per person)

Logistical details and schedule

The workshop sessions were held at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Papers are available from the links above. 


The event was generously co-sponsored by our partner organizations, including the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the Roy and Lila Ash Center on Democratic Governance and Innovation, the Harvard Committee on Australian Studies, the Laureate Award of the Australian Research Council, and the IPSA Research Committee 23 on Citizens, Elections and Parties.

The event has been organized by Pippa Norris and Richard W. Frank, The Electoral Integrity Project, University of Sydney.

Workshop assistants: Sandra Urquiza and Max Grömping.