Everyone in the election field knows how important it is to minimize waits at the polls, and in recent years, we’ve seen big advances in using data to help predict and avoid polling place stress. But while there’s a lot of research on overall wait times, there’s little data out there that addresses one critical piece of the puzzle: the amount of time it takes to vote a ballot. For that reason, the Center for Technology and Civic Life is working with software developer Mark Pelczarski to build a tool that will estimate how long it will take voters to mark a ballot based on its contents. Once it’s ready, the tool will be available for free in the Election Toolkit.
As we move forward with the project, election officials have an important role to play in helping it come together.
“We know that when voters experience long wait times at the polling place, it can discourage participation,” says Whitney May, Director of Government Services at the Center. “This project is about collecting data to discover a clearer connection between ballots and voting times. Ultimately, we want to give election officials a free tool they can use to make resource allocation decisions that minimize wait times for voters.”
Full Article: electionlineWeekly.