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New Jersey Ranks in Top Half of States In Elections Performance Report

Pew Charitable Trusts measured number of rejected absentee ballots, voter turnout, in compiling report

A new national report by the PEW Charitable Trusts ranking state-by-state elections performance puts New Jersey in the top half of the 50 states.

The PEW Elections Performance Index measures the quality of election administrations by analyzing 17 indicators, ranging from voter turnout to number of rejected absentee ballots, from the 2008 and 2010 elections.

New Jersey was neither a high nor low performer among the 50 states and District of Columbia for its history of voter turnout and voter access, which make up the EPI.

Seven states performed well in both the 2008 and 2010 elections including Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin. The worst performing states during those years included Alabama, California, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia, according to the PEW's index.

Meanwhile, New Jersey fell toward the middle for the two years, in ranking how well elections are run in the state.

PEW found that New Jersey's voter turnout was low in 2010 compared to other states ranking higher, but most absentee ballots went unrejected, which was a positive factor. Yet in 2008 New Jersey was ranked lower for issues with voting accuracy and rejected ballots.

Among the findings from PEW:

Absentee Voting Processes have changed in New Jersey over the course of the study.
• In 2008, allows any registered voter to request an absentee ballot without providing a reason.
• In 2010, allows any registered voter to request an absentee ballot without providing a reason and offers voters the option to receive automatically mailed absentee ballots for future elections.


Notable Indicators for New Jersey
2008
• High rate of provisional ballots rejected
• Highest rate of absentee ballots unreturned
• High rate of military and overseas ballots unreturned
• Low voting technology accuracy, measured by a high residual vote rate of 1.8 percent

2010
• Low turnout
• High rate of absentee ballots unreturned
• High rate of military and overseas ballots unreturned
• 100 percent data completeness

A complete analysis of the 17 factors PEW used to rank the states, and how New Jersey fared, can be found here.

 

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