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Fortier and Palmer: Who waits the longest to vote? Until now, we had no idea

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Election officials from across the commonwealth are gathering in Richmond this week, working to improve the voting experience for millions of Virginians. They are admirably committed to understanding where and why these lines occur and taking steps to prevent them, using the PCEA’s 30-minute wait time as a guiding principle.

We have the pleasure of presenting to these officials some preliminary results from our unique study on voting wait times at each and every precinct in participating jurisdictions. Our team at the Bipartisan Policy Center, in partnership with the MIT/CalTech Voting Technology Project, led a nationwide effort during the 2016 election to measure election day lines.

Seventeen Virginia jurisdictions, representing more than 2 million registered voters, or nearly 40 percent of all registered voters in the state, participated in the study — part of a diverse group of more than 80 jurisdictions across the country. As a result, our team now has key insights on the locations and root causes of lines, giving election officials powerful data to make improvements.