Election administration consists of many logistical challenges. Election officials often make decisions with the goal of addressing these challenges and improving the voting experience.  

Researchers can use advanced technology to create thousands of realistic simulations for a variety of situations. The EAC has partnered with the University of Rhode Island (URI) to use this technology to better inform election officials. The EAC and URI have created a series of simulation videos that replicate common Election Day issues. The simulations that were used to create this video series are based on several inputs that are common to many polling places: 

  • A polling location that serves 1,500 voters on Election Day

  • Voter check-in stations 

  • Voting booths where voters mark a paper ballot 

  • Ballot tabulators that scan paper ballots 

The videos below used over 8,000 simulations to determine the most cost-effective resource allocations for polling locations that also keep wait times under 30 minutes. Election officials can use this information to evaluate a variety of consolidation strategies.  

The EAC and URI will be providing future simulations addressing other common election administration issues. Additional simulations will include the following topics: 

  • Allocating accessible voting technology at polling locations 

  • Addressing lines during in-person voting 

  • Deploying new voting systems and allocating resources 

  • Managing polling location stoppages that may occur on Election Day

Polling Place Consolidation Simulations

This simulations video series is intended to help election officials develop a polling place consolidation program. It provides visual interpretations of voting locations, equipment, staff, and explores how different strategies may work in practice at a voting location.

- Find the video series on poll place consolidations here.

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