Voting Blogs: Unintended (or Unanticipated?) Consequences: Pew Examines Roots of Long Lines in Galveston | Election Academy
A few weeks ago, I used a Pew Election Data Disptach to invoke Anna Karenina as a metaphor for the myriad ways jurisdictions can become “unhappy” via long lines. Pew’s latest Dispatch about long lines in Galveston, TX is yet another example of that phenomenon but also a reminder that sometimes the problem isn’t unanticipated (i.e., what isn’t supposed to happen) but rather a natural consequence of election law and procedure – i.e., what is supposed to happen.
The county was using vote centers for the first time during a presidential election, which allows voters to cast their ballot at any polling location. Of the 45 centers in the county, 38 reportedly did not open on time, leading to waits of one to 4.5 hours for some voters and prompting a judge to extend voting by almost two hours. What happened?