The Elections Performance Index 2.0

Return to Election Data Dispatches

In 2013, Pew released the Elections Performance Index, or EPI, the first assessment of how well states administered elections in 2008 and 2010. Later this month, we will release an updated index, adding 2012 data that will allow states to compare their performance across presidential elections.

Over the coming weeks, the Election Data Dispatches will preview the new index and explore the stories behind the indicators, explaining why some states improved and others declined and why certain states are consistently excellent or poor performers.

The EPI uses 17 measurable indicators of election administration, many of which were recently highlighted in the Presidential Commission on Election Administration’s report:

  • Data completeness: How many jurisdictions reported statistics on core survey items from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s Election Administration and Voting Survey?
  • Disability- or illness-related voting problems: What percentage of voters did not cast a ballot because of an “illness or disability (own or family’s)?”
  • Mail ballots rejected: What percentage of mail ballots were not counted out of all ballots cast?
  • Mail ballots unreturned: What percentage of mail ballots sent out by the state were not returned?
  • Military and overseas ballots rejected: What percentage of military and overseas ballots returned by voters were not counted?
  • Military and overseas ballots unreturned: What percentage of military and overseas ballots sent out by the state were not returned?
  • Online registration available: Were voters allowed to submit registration applications online?
  • Postelection audit required: Did the state require an assessment of voting equipment performance after each election?
  • Provisional ballots cast: What percentage of voters had to cast a provisional ballot on Election Day?
  • Provisional ballots rejected: What percentage of provisional ballots were not counted out of all ballots cast?
  • Registration or absentee ballot problems: How many people reportednot casting a ballot because of registration problems, including failure to receive an absentee ballot or to be registered in the appropriate location?
  • Registrations rejected: What percentage of submitted registration applications were rejected?
  • Residual vote rate: What percentage of the ballots cast contained an undervote (i.e., no vote) or an overvote (i.e., more than one candidate marked in a single-winner race), indicating voting machine malfunction or voter confusion?
  • Turnout: What percentage of the voting-eligible population cast ballots?
  • Voter registration rate: What percentage of the voting-eligible population were registered to vote?
  • Voting information lookup tools: How many of five basic, easy-to-find online tools allowing voters to get key information—registration status, polling place, ballot information, absentee ballot status, and status of provisional ballots—did the state offer?
  • Voting wait time: How long, on average, did voters wait to cast their ballots?

Look for more information about the Elections Performance Index when it is released later in April.

Follow us on Twitter using #electiondata and get the latest data dispatches, research, and news by subscribing today. 

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.