Georgia Doesn’t Fair to Well in New Report Detailing Election Performance in 2012

April 10, 2014

Earlier this week the Pew Charitable Trusts released the latest Election Performance Index.

The report compares election administration performance between 2008 and 2012 across all states and the District of Columbia.

In the report, Georgia’s performance declined more than any other state.

David Becker, Director of the Pew Charitable Trust’s Election Initiatives, explains why.

“They had a large increase in the number of people who reported that they did not vote due to disability and illness. They had a significant increase in the number and overseas ballots that were unreturned compared to 2008, slightly more than one in three ballots that went out were not returned in Georgia”, explained Becker.

Georgia also had problems with the amount of data reported regarding feedback on how its elections went.

Seventeen key performance indicators are used in determining how each state performed in each election.

Becker hits a on just a few of the indicators that they use in the report.

“We look at things like turnout and voter registration rate, also we look at how long voters reported waiting in line”, said Becker. “We look at things like how many provisional and military ballots were returned or rejected, and other things along those lines.”

In Georgia, the average wait time did decrease, but according to the report is still about 17.8 minutes, which is significantly higher than the national average of 11 minutes.

Becker however says the overall report is quite positive, mentioning that there was a three minute drop in the national average wait time.

“One of the other positive developments is that although there were only two states that offered online voter registration in 2008, thirteen states offered it in 2012, which included South Carolina. Now, eighteen states, including Georgia, now offer that service”, said Becker.

The mid-term elections are coming up and will be the next data points the Pew Charitable Trusts looks at.

That election cycle begins with the May 20th primaries.