An independent nonprofit organization has released its third analysis of how each state conducts its elections and for the third time North Dakota took the top spot on the list. The Pew Charitable Trusts released its elections performance index Tuesday, which it has released every two years since the 2008 election cycle. Pew based its results using 17 election indicators including voter turnout, the percentage of military and absentee ballots that aren’t returned, online registration to vote and the wait time for being able to vote. With North Dakota being the only state in the country that doesn’t have voter registration, it is exempt from several indicators used in the performance index. In the areas North Dakota was ranked in, it rated above the national average in every single category. “When you see Pew looked at all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and North Dakota consistently ranks very high, that’s encouraging,” North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger said.
Between 2008 and 2012, North Dakota saw declines in the percentage of problems with voting by mail. The percentage of unreturned mail ballots decreased from 6.36 percent in 2008 to 5.46 percent in 2012. Those that were rejected due to problems saw a miniscule decline, from 0.12 percent in 2008 to 0.11 percent in 2012.
A slight increase in problems reported with absentee ballots occurred from 2008 and 2012. Absentee ballot problems increased from 2.25 percent in 2008 to 2.32 percent in 2012.
North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party Executive Director Chad Oban said the high marks given by Pew were laudable. However, he said changes to state election law made during the last legislative session may jeopardize them in future elections. “This is exactly what we’ve (Democrats) have been saying,” Oban said. “Our elections in 2012 and previously were very well run. So why did we change the rules?”
Full Article: North Dakota first in election performance.