Wisconsin election officials are uniquely committed to collecting and studying elections data, as reported in two previous data dispatches. Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, recently testified on the subject before the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. He discussed the innovations that are possible when data collection efforts are sufficiently extensive to allow election officials to observe patterns and recommend evidence-based policy.
Beginning in 2008, Wisconsin officials conducted polling-place accessibility audits in 921 of 1,852 municipalities across the state. They used the findings to inform guidelines for the layout of polling places, interacting with voters who have disabilities, choosing appropriate locations for new polling places, and avoiding the most common accessibility issues.
In part because of efforts such as this, Wisconsin is consistently among the highest-performing states in Pew’s Elections Performance Index, which evaluates election administration quality in the states.