2012 Election Snapshot—District of Columbia

2012 Election Snapshot—District of Columbia

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2012 Election Snapshots

Over the past several months, Pew collected data about the 2012 presidential election from nearly every state and the District of Columbia. We used the findings to create a snapshot of each jurisdiction, focusing on how many people voted, how long they waited to cast their ballots, how they cast them, and how many ballots were not counted. These snapshots will be released over the coming months, five at a time, and the Election Data Dispatches will take a closer look at the latest snapshots each week.

2012 Election Snapshot – District of Columbia

As noted previously, the District of Columbia had a significant increase in the use of provisional ballots in 2012, due in part to the introduction of Election Day registration. In the District, all ballots cast by voters who register on Election Day are treated as provisional ballots.

The 2012 election was also the first presidential election in which District residents could vote without an excuse at early voting centers. More than 1 in 5 voters cast ballots either in person or by mail before Election Day, compared with 1 in 10 voters in 2008. Even with so many early voters, the city had the nation’s second-longest average wait at the polls, at 34 minutes, behind Florida.

The front facade of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.
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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.

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for difficult challenges. When states serve their traditional role as laboratories of innovation, they increase the American people’s confidence that the government they choose—no matter the size—can be effective, responsive, and in the public interest.