Unaccustomed as we are to patting ourselves on the back, Minnesotans can take pride in the results of the recent Elections Performance Index issued by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Minnesota joins Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, North Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin in the winners’ circle of high performing states.
The Pew study is the first examination of election administration performance that covers all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
The results of the study is a detailed—and fun—online interactive map that election officials and voters can use to assess the details of election performance by each state.
The goal of Pew is to build a flexible and manageable measurement tool based on a well-defined list of indicators.
The findings of the study are based on a methodology carefully defined and described in the full report. Key indicators include these:
Polling location wait time
Availability of voting information tools online
Number of rejected voter registrations
Percentage of voters with registration or absentee ballot problems
Number of military and overseas ballots were rejected
Accuracy of voting technology
This report is based on the 2008 and 2010 elections. Researchers indicate that the online report will be updated with complete 2012 data when they become available in late 2013. It will be interesting to see what impact the threat of restricting voting rights rights has on election day activities.
Moving forward, this legislature should be commended on its efforts to raise voting participation. Hopefully, their policies will keep us at the top of the pack.