For Immediate Release
New Study: Large Counties in Swing States May Face Election Day Problems
Lack of Preparation, Uniformity Could Cause Long Lines on Election Day
TACOMA PARK, Maryland - Voters in the largest counties in 10 key swing states may experience
problems on Election Day because of insufficient preparation and
inadequate poll booth and machine allocation plans, according to a
report released today by FairVote, a nonpartisan advocacy group.
FairVote surveyed 26 election administrators in counties with over
500,000 residents in Colorado, Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, Michigan,
Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. Researchers
found that many counties do not have a standardized method for
allocating poll booths, which may cause long lines on Election Day.
Long lines are often caused by an inadequate number of poll booths and
have plagued voters, particularly in lower-income neighborhoods, in the
past several election cycles. The report shows that 10 of the counties
surveyed were not preparing a written allocation plan before Election
Though some officials explained how they would allocate resources,
including using metrics such as the number of registered voters and
previous turnout, not a single administrator surveyed could cite a
specific scientific formula that they use for calculating the number of
booths or machines needed.
Students in many large counties in swing states may experience
difficulty voting this Election Day. Of the 26 counties surveyed, 24
have post-secondary institutions in them. Only 15 of those counties
reported that they plan to have a polling location on campus. Students
in these jurisdictions may have trouble voting because of inadequate
access, which has been problematic in previous election cycles.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
If you think a better world is possible, support our people-powered media model today
The corporate media puts the interests of the 1% ahead of all of us. That's wrong. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.
If you believe the survival of independent media is vital to a healthy democracy, please step forward with a donation to nonprofit Common Dreams today:
"Many of the largest counties in key states are not prepared for
Election Day," said co-author of the report, FairVote's Adam Fogel.
"The across the board lack of uniformity we see in this report speaks
to the patchwork election system we have in this country. Most local
officials do the best they can with the limited resources they have
available, but state and federal officials must do more to ensure
transparent election administration and increased accountability after
FairVote is a non-partisan electoral reform organization founded on a
belief that democracy depends on respect for every voice and every
vote. Part of FairVote's Democracy SoS project, Uniformity in Election
Administration: A 2008 Survey of Swing State County Clerks-National
Edition is part of a report series designed to shed light on practices
of county election administrators, as well as their interpretation and
compliance with state law. The National Edition follows state reports
on election preparedness in Missouri, New Mexico, Colorado and Virginia.
Full Report Series: http://www.fairvote.org/
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news outlet. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method: