In Response to the Perception of Electoral Integrity Index

Voters in Bosnia, Oct 2014

In the current issue of PS: Political Science and Politics (47:4, October 2014), Pippa Norris, Richard W. Frank, and Ferran Martinez i Coma announce a new dataset for “Measuring Electoral Integrity around the World.”  In the spirit of Freedom House, Transparency International, and other global indices, the Electoral Integrity Project surveys experts on 49 indicators for a particular election, and generates a PEI index on a 100-point scale.

The authors anticipated relationships between electoral integrity and liberal democracy, democratic history, and  economic development.  They found these, with some interesting exceptions.  They also find that media and campaign finance, not just ballot box integrity, are important.  To be sure, this effort will become an important contribution to the study of elections, political development, democratization, and more.  But it risks suffering from a serious flaw – one that might have a simple, partial solution.  Continue reading “In Response to the Perception of Electoral Integrity Index”