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—New Jersey
The rates of provisional ballots cast and rejected in New Jersey changed significantly from 2008 to 2012. This change probably occurred because Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno—who serves as the state’s chief election official—issued a directive allowing any voter displaced by Hurricane Sandy to cast a provisional ballot at any polling place in the state. County election boards were responsible for counting each vote for president, U.S. Senate, statewide races, and any other questions on the ballot for which the voter was eligible to cast a vote. Among the results:
- In 2012, a total of 97,481 provisional ballots were cast, a 36 percent increase from the 71,536 in 2008.
- The rejection rate of provisional ballots, however, decreased between these elections. In 2012, a total of 13,081 provisional ballots were rejected, down 38 percent from 2008 when the figure was 18,032.
Residents of New Jersey and New York who were affected by Hurricane Sandy needed a way to locate polling places and access other voting information. The Voting Information Project partnered with Mobile Commons to ensure that more than 243,000 voters received their information via text message.