A new report by a nonpartisan public policy group says Americans spent an average of three minutes less standing in line to vote in the 2012 presidential election than they did four years earlier. An exception was Florida, where the wait increased by 16 minutes. The report by Pew Charitable Trusts, released Tuesday, said states generally did a better job of handling elections in 2012 than in 2008. It examined 17 points about election administration, including the percentage of provisional ballots cast, the proportion of voter-registration applications rejected and the percentage of people 18 and older who voted. “If you look at the states that perform well, they are the states that have good voter lists,” David Becker, director of election initiatives for Pew, told The Associated Press in an interview Monday.
Up-to-date lists — with accurate information about people who recently registered and without names of voters who have moved or died — make elections more efficient by reducing the need for people to use provisional ballots if there are questions about where they live, he said.
“One of the sad truths about election administration in many states is if someone moves in December of 2012, election officials will likely not learn of it until October 2016, if they learn about it at all,” Becker said.
Thirteen states had online voting registration in 2012. That’s up from two, Arizona and Washington state, in 2008. Becker said five more states are in the process of starting online registration.