Deep Dives Provide Insight into Election Administration

Jun 08, 2018

deep_diveRecently, the EAC released its last in a series of deep dives into the 2016 Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS). These briefs provide an in-depth look at a variety of issues related to administering elections and use data to help better understand these issues.

With the series coming to a close, we want to look back at a highlight from each of these reports which focused on voter registrationearly,  absentee and mail votingpoll workers and polling placeselection technology; and provisional ballots:

  • From 2014 to 2016, approximately 16.7 million registrants (8.8 percent of all registrants) were removed from state voter registration rolls. The most common reason for a registrant’s removal from the rolls, about 5.2 million removals or 31 percent of all reported removals, was because they moved out of the jurisdiction. 
  • The total number of voters who voted using a mail or absentee ballot or in person at an early voting location doubled from 24.9 million in 2004 to 57.2 million in 2016, or from one in five of all ballots cast to two in five of all ballots cast.
  • Nearly 65 percent of reporting jurisdictions said it was “very difficult” or “somewhat difficult” to obtain a sufficient number of poll workers.
  • Online voter registration (OVR) accounted for nearly 18 percent of all voter registration applications for the 2016 elections, more than triple the rate from 2012. Today, 37 states, the District of Columbia and Guam offer OVR, including six states which have implemented the practice since 2016.
  • During presidential and midterm elections from 2006 to 2016, states and territories reported that more than 10 million provisional ballots were issued and more than 7.3 million were counted. Rates of provisional ballot use have remained steady since 2006 with higher rates in presidential election years, approximately 1.8 percent of all ballots cast, compared with midterm election years, with about 1.1 percent of all ballots cast.

While the series is over for 2016, the 2018 election and related EAVS report is fast approaching and we plan to continue going deeper into the data to help better understand how elections are administered.

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