How did each state’s election apparatus perform in the 2012 election? Better than 2008 but still not all that well, according to the annual study, conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts, of state-by-state elections.
“Overall, 40 states and the District improved their scores in the 2012 election, compared with 2008,” reads the report. “The scores of 21 states and the District rose at a rate greater than the national average, 19 states’ averages improved but didn’t keep pace with the national average, and 10 states’ performance declined. The District improved the most — 20 points — from 2008 to 2012 but still remained among the lower performers.”
Pew scored the states based on something called the Elections Performance Index, a amalgam of stats that includes wait times at polling places, voter registration rejections, voter turnout and the efficacy of voting technology. (You can read the full explanation of EPI here.) Here’s the Pew chart comparing how states did between 2008 and 2012 and how they rank against the national average EPI score, which was 68 percent in 2012 and 64 percent in 2008.
North Dakota is the shining star of election performance, with an 86 percent score in 2012 and an 84 percent score in 2008. Mississippi brings up the rear again with a 44 percent score in 2012 and a 40 percent rating in 2008. Alabama was the only other state to come close to Mississippi’s poor performance with a 56 percent score in 2012 — although the the Yellowhammer State deserves some credit since its score was a lowly 42 percent in 2008.