[Image courtesy of Pew Center on the States]
I spent the last couple of days with my old friends at Pew, who hosted the Voting in America 2012 conference in Washington, DC.
Early on day one, Charles Stewart of MIT presented preliminary data on the Survey of the Performance of American Elections (SPAE), which once again asked voters about their voting experiences in 2012. Here’s Pew’s summary of the results (which also feature in the above infographic):
The early numbers paint a picture which is not that different from 2008:
+ 36 percent of voters reported not waiting in line at all in 2012 compared with 42 percent in 2008;
+ 13 percent of voters reported waiting more than 30 minutes compared with 14 percent in 2008;
+ In 2012 lines on average were longer for early voting than they were on Election Day, with reported wait times of 20 minutes and 13 minutes, respectively. Similarly, in 2008, voters reported waiting an average of 20 minutes for early voting and 15 minutes on Election Day; and
+ As in 2008, voters in Florida, Maryland, South Carolina, and Virginia faced some of the longest average wait times in 2012, averaging nearly 50 minutes in Florida, more than 30 minutes in Maryland, and more than 25 minutes in South Carolina and Virginia.
Charles is still analyzing the remaining data – likely not on the back of an envelope – and so we should have even more detailed data on wait times in the near future.
Kudos to the Pew team for another great meeting – and look for more posts in the next few weeks about the various topics that popped up during this week’s discussions.