With Super Tuesday upon us, we’re reminded that the intensity of a presidential-election year brings increased scrutiny for the nation’s election administrators. Presidential primaries, state primaries and the general election in November will beget a sharp focus on those whose job it is to make our democracy work. Their efforts will be watched closely by political campaigns, advocates, voters, the media and even conspiracy theorists.
In most cases, election administrators work hard to be fair and transparent and to promote integrity. But a large percentage of election officials are elected to their offices on a partisan ticket or appointed on partisan basis. This can lead some to believe that these officials will favor one political party over another in their decisions.
Even the best-written laws, regulations, policies or standards will pale in comparison to the personal ethics of an election administrator and the cultures of the offices they run. It’s imperative that election administrators ask themselves if they and their offices can withstand enormous scrutiny. This mandates trustworthy personnel and clear ethics policies.
Overall, ethics in elections includes five elements: independence, transparency, integrity, competence and fairness…
This was originally published via Governing Magazine. To read the full piece, click here.