United States Election Assistance Comittee

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EAC Releases Data from 2010 Election

POSTED ON DECEMBER 28, 2011

WASHINGTON – The United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today released the results of its 2010 Election Administration and Voting Survey. The survey contains comprehensive, nationwide data about election administration in the U.S. The complete results and all data provided by the states are available on the EAC website.

The EAC’s 2010 Election Administration and Voting Survey report (EAVS) covers the 2-year period from the November 2008 elections through the November 2010 elections and is based on the results of a survey of all States, the District of Columbia, and four territories—American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

As with past reports, responses from many States and territories varied significantly. In some cases, local election officials’ challenges with collecting data limited States’ ability to respond completely.

In some areas, however, State reporting improved. For example, ninety-six percent of the responding jurisdictions were able to report the number of domestic absentee ballots that were cast and counted in 2010; seventy-six percent of responding jurisdictions were able to report this information for the 2006 midterm election.

Select Findings from the Report

  • According to the data submitted by the States and territories, 90,810,679 individuals participated in the 2010 election.   
  • Of the more than 90 million people who turned out to vote in 2010, nearly 63% voted at the polls, 16% voted a domestic absentee ballot, and 8% voted early (prior to Election Day).
  • States reported counting 98.6% of the domestic absentee ballots submitted. The most common reason for absentee ballot rejection was a missed deadline for returning the ballot, followed by an invalid signature as a distant second.
  • A total of 1,061,569 provisional ballots were submitted according to the States and territories. Roughly 77% of those ballots were counted. Of the more than 187,000 that were not counted, the most common reason was because the voter was not registered.
  • In 2010, States operated 176,071 precincts and 110,941 physical polling places. States relied on 769,795 poll workers on Election Day. The largest number of poll workers was between 61 and 70 years of age.

2010 Election Administration and Voting Survey
The 2010 Election Administration and Voting Survey is the fourth conducted by EAC. In addition to providing basic information about voting, it includes data used for two federally mandated reports – the impact of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and the Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). The 2010 survey instrument was finalized after receiving input from the EAC Standards Board, the Board of Advisors and a wide variety of stakeholders, including the general public.

Caution should be exercised when interpreting these data, particularly when comparing these data from year to year or state to state.  This is because changes to the survey have been made, changes in states’ tracking of data have occurred over time, and completeness in states’ responses vary.

EAC is an independent commission created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). EAC serves as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration. It is charged with administering payments to states and developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and accrediting voting system test laboratories and certifying voting equipment. It is also charged with developing and maintaining a national mail voter registration form.