Caltech Authors Examine Election Integrity in New Book

As ballots continue to be counted across the United States, a group of Caltech-affiliated researchers has released a book that examines how voters and other stakeholders can evaluate whether an election has been conducted freely and fairly.

Securing American Elections: How Data-Driven Election Monitoring Can Improve Our Democracy is based on research from Caltech political and computational social science professor Michael Alvarez; Yimeng Li, graduate student in social science; and alumni Nicholas Adams-Cohen (PhD '19) and Seo-young Silvia Kim (PhD '20).

The book was published by Cambridge University Press, and a digital version is available for free through December 2.

"How do citizens, candidates, and stakeholders know that an election has been conducted with integrity?" the authors ask in the book's preface. "How do they know … the ballots have been correctly counted, and that the reported results reflect a truly free process, one that is free from fraud or administrative error? These are the difficult questions that we consider in this manuscript."

Alvarez recently spoke with the Caltech Science Exchange about how social scientists use computational analysis, social-media monitoring, and other tools to help ensure elections are fair and accurate.

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Written by Jennifer Torres

Caltech Media Relations