With midterm elections behind us and the presidential election nearing, University of Cincinnati researchers are attempting to improve the logistics of democracy. Two UC professors won a second-place prize — from the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences — for their research that aims to improve voting policies, reduces overall waiting times and protects against voter disenfranchisement at Ohio polls.
… Current voting doesn’t prepare certain precincts fairly, Fry said. “One machine for X amount of voters ignores the time it takes to vote,” Fry said. “Ballots are not the same in length. Urban areas typically have longer ballots than rural areas, causing long lines for city voters.”
The research by the UC group used analytics to develop improved voting machine allocation policies, which would provide a fairer system.
“Previously in 2004 and 2008, Ohio decided the presidential elections, but really long lines in the state caused many voters to go home,” Fry said. “Ohio laws state all voters in long after close must be allowed to vote, though some precincts do not obey the law and many voters do not want to wait in long lines.” Urban areas with low income and minority voters are affected most by voter disenfranchisement, Fry said.