Core Competencies


Part I: Core Competencies for the NASPAA Election Administration and Leadership Concentration

  • Plan, direct, lead, and evaluate elections, from voter registration to recounts to electoral integrity to managing intergovernmental relationships among a nation’s local, state/provincial, and federal governments.
  • Apply Election Law accurately and appropriately to officials, voters, and situations at the federal, state, and local level.
  • Know the structure of American federalism and the intergovernmental system, including theory, historical developments, major themes emerging issues, and the distinct phases and hurdles of the policy process. Be able to apply this knowledge to the implementation of new election laws and to the development and execution of electoral policies.

Part II:  Competencies for sub-specializations within Election Administration & Leadership

  1. Cybersecurity and Election Administration
  • Identify the sources and technical aspects of security vulnerabilities, and how these vulnerabilities have been exploited by hackers.
  • ems in election administration that are well-served by data collection and analysis.
  • Apply data analysis to identifying opportunities for process and management improvement.
  • Forecast pre-election variables (such as turnout) for planning purposes, and demonstrate how to apply the results to improve planning.
  • Conduct data analyses for post-election auditing of election results, and identify inconsistencies and weakness in need of remedy.
  1. Related Competencies
  • Apply general administrative law to the election context, identifying points of administrative action and enforcement; analyze rule making and adjudication; apply admin due process.
  • Apply Theoretical and comparative perspective on conflict resolution to work with stakeholder groups in election processes, emphasizing ability to provide mediation in different cultural contexts.
  • Interface with volunteers in the electoral process, and demonstrate effective approaches while working with election commission officials,  campaign volunteers, advocacy groups, protest groups,  citizen groups and watchdog organizations, election nonprofits and voter registration organizations,  poll watchers and other observers.
  • Writing effectively for research and analysis purposes, advocacy, and credibility.
  • Leadership and responsibility of public administrators and managers in democratic government, including problem identification and analysis, acting ethically, transparently and accountably.

Part III: Competencies from a Capstone or Internship

  • From an internship, interpret experiences on the job with insights provided by coursework in the specialization.
  • From participation in a campus-based or online capstone project, complete a summative written paper or report that serves the needs of an election-oriented client or addresses an election problem.