FVAP has released the 2008 Survey Methods and invites questions and comments from academics and others.
October 5, 2009 – Arlington, VA – The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is pre-releasing its 2008 Post-Election Survey methods and questions and is inviting election officials, military and overseas voting advocates and members of academia to review FVAPs methods for statistical reliability and that they meet the industry standards.
FVAP is required by law to conduct these surveys after every Presidential election and report specifically on the effectiveness of assistance provided by FVAP to military and overseas citizens, an analysis of Uniformed Services and overseas nonmilitary voter participation, and a description of State-federal cooperation.
However, the greatest public interest has been in the statistical analyses of voter participation rates. With that interest has also been significant criticism of the statistical methods used in previous surveys, especially the 2004 survey. In response to that criticism, FVAP engaged the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) to incorporate FVAP’s survey questions into its annual Status of Forces Survey (SOFS), a well-respected, widely accepted survey methodology for assessing military personnel issues, and marks a substantial improvement in the methodology used for FVAP’s 2008 voting survey.
The early release of this section of the 2008 final report is done so that the UOCAVA voting community, other government agencies, and interested professionals can review the survey’s methodology in advance of the final survey analysis and report writing. It is FVAP’s hope that this cycle of surveys will set a new benchmark for analyzing military voting participation, and that the early release of the survey methodology and questions will help identify any remaining statistical issues before issuing the final report, and to address many of the criticisms raised regarding the 2004 and prior surveys. Specifically, a DMDC Survey Note is also being released describing the key statistical methodological differences between the 2004 and 2008 surveys.
FVAP Director Bob Carey invited interested observers to critically assess the 2008 Survey methodology, “Broad public acceptance of the statistical methods underlying this survey is crucial to public acceptance of their results. I invite the academic community, election officials, and the UOCAVA voting advocacy community to take a ‘wire-brush’ to our methods and tell us where we can improve, before we write the final report.” Comments can be submitted to FVAP’s Survey Manager email@example.com by October 26th, 2009.
All methods can be found at http://www.fvap.gov/reference/18threport.html.
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