Elections Performance Index

Elections Performance Index

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Earlier this week the Pew Charitable Trusts released the Elections Performance Index, which examines election administration across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The index includes 17 indicators—developed by an advisory group led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Charles Stewart—that measure election administration policies and results, beginning with the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.

These indicators include polling location wait times, availability of online voting information tools, the number of rejected voter registrations, the percentage of voters with registration or absentee ballot problems, how many military and overseas ballots were rejected, voter turnout, and the accuracy of voting technology, among others.

Pew found seven states that performed consistently well during 2008 and 2010: Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin. Low performing states include Alabama, California, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia. The report will be updated with complete 2012 data once it becomes available.


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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest. In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.