If you read my Minnesota Lawyer – JD Rising article, accessed here, you will know that there are a lot of voting problems that affect voters.
The Pew Charitable Trusts recently released a major new study which shoes that the flaws in the American election system are deep and widespread. You can see the results via an interactive tool here. The full brief can be accessed here.
The Pew Charitable Trusts ranked 50 states on 17 indicators, including but not limited to wait times, lost votes, problems with absentee and provisional ballots. The study is based on data from the 2008 and 2010 elections.
The problematic findings are as follows.
- Some states lost very few votes thanks to shortcomings in voting technology and voter confusion. The best reporting failure rates was of 0.5% or less in 2008. West Virginia’s rate was 3.2%.
- Voter registration rejections varied. North Dakota does not require voter registration, and Alabama and Kansas reported rejecting less than 0.05% of the applications in 2008. Pennsylvania and Indiana each rejected more than half of the registration applications.
- Arizona and California had the highest rates of problems with voter registration and absentee ballots. In 2010, California rejected 0.7% absentee ballots, a higher rate than any other state.
- In Colorado, where 70% of the voters cast ballots by mail in 2012, rejected 0.4% of ballots in 2010.
- Nationwide, a bit over 1% of voters are given a provisional ballot. In Arizona, the rate in 2008 was of 6.5%. In Ohio, it was 3.6%.
Some of the other findings state:
- In 2008, the 10 states with the shortest times had waits on average of fewer than 6 minutes. South Carolina had the longest wait times of just over an hour. Georgia had more than 37 minutes.
- Only 8 States provided all possible voter lookup tools (Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin). Only 2 States had no information at all (California and Vermont).
- Six of the 10 states with the lowest rates of nonvoting due to registration problems (Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Wisconsin) have allowed Election Day registration for at least two decades. North Dakota does not require voter registration.
- The high performers are: Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin.
- The low performers are: Alabama, California, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia.