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Pew Charitable Trusts' Elections Performance Index

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The Elections Performance Index is a report released by the Election Initiatives project of Pew Charitable Trusts, a Washington D.C.-based independent non-profit research group. The report examines election administration performance across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, assigning each an average percentage score based on 17 indicators of election performance. The original index was released in February 2013 and was based on the 2008 and 2010 elections.[1]

The report states that the Elections Performance Index "builds a new baseline for measuring election administration and helps policymakers, election administrators, and other citizens: evaluate elections based on data and not just anecdotes, compare overall and indicator specific performance across states, measure the impact of changes in policy or practice over time, reveal trends that otherwise might not be identified, and encourage better data collection and further research into how elections are run."[2]

Complete scores and rankings


The 17 indicators analyzed in the Index were chosen within the framework of determining the convenience and integrity of each of the three administrative phases of an election: registration, voting and counting. The indicators are: Absentee Ballots Rejected, Absentee Ballots Unreturned, Data Completeness, Disability- or Illness-Related Voting Problems, Military and Overseas Ballots Rejected, Military and Overseas Ballots Unreturned, Online Registration Available, Post-Election Audit Required, Provisional Ballots Cast, Provisional Ballots Rejected, Registration or Absentee Ballot Problems, Registrations Rejected, Turnout, Voter Registration Rate, Voting Information Look-Up Tools, Voting Technology Accuracy, Voting Wait Time.

The Index relies on a variety of data sources, including census data, state collected data, Pew Center on the States reports, and public surveys. After the raw data for each indicator is determined, the states are placed on a scale that runs from 0 to 1, or 100%, for each indicator with 0 reserved for the state with the lowest performance measure and 1 reserved for the state with the highest measure. The remaining states would then be set to values that reflected their ranking and were relative to the distance between the high and low values. The overall state percentiles and “performance bars” used in the EPI interactive report are based on a method that essentially calculates the average of all indicator rankings for each state. This, by nature of averages, weighs the indicators equally.[3]

External links