A new report from the University of New Mexico examines election administration practices and voter experiences in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, during the 2014 general election. The study used Election Day monitoring and surveys of poll workers’ and voters’ experiences to evaluate the elections process and make recommendations for improving data-driven performance at the local and state levels.
Voters reported a generally positive experience. Ninety-six percent rated poll worker performance high, and the same percentage said the voting process was easy. However, some issues emerged: Nearly 70 percent of voters said the ballot was too extensive, and 1 in 4 Election Day voters said their wait in line to vote was very long.
The report recommends a number of best practices, including:
- Training poll workers to handle basic voting equipment technology failures.
- Collecting data on voter wait times for future analyses.
- Replacing voting centers that do not support an efficient, circular flow of foot traffic.
- Adopting measures to ensure appropriate and timely opening and closing procedures at polling sites.
The report was the fifth release of data from a longitudinal study that Bernalillo began in 2006, making it one of the longest ongoing examinations of election performance by a single local jurisdiction.