Analysis

Long Lines at the Polls in Rhode Island in 2012

Return to Election Data Dispatches.

In reviewing the November general election, Rhode Island’s House Committee on Oversight found a number of reasons for the long lines voters encountered at several polling places:

  • One polling place, which had reports of voters waiting two to three hours, was not set up according to the plan approved by the Board of Elections.
  • At another precinct, the wrong ballots were delivered, and the correct ones did not arrive until almost two hours after polls opened.
  • Having fewer technicians on call across the state to address Election Day problems than in 2008 led to waits when some machines needed repairs.
  • Longer ballots also played a role, with 48 percent of voters needing to complete multiple-page ballots, compared with just 20 percent in 2008.