Charles has been busy lately; he authored a wonderful essay in this week’s electionlineWeekly on surveys of voter experience conducted in New Jersey and Virginia, immediately following their November 2009 gubernatorial elections. The essay, “Election administration in N.J. and Va. gubernatorial elections: Survey shows satisfaction with election day, mixed views on voter confidence”, presents some preliminary results from this on-going project headed by Charles.
Here’s a summary from the article of some of the key results:
The November 2009 study was a part of the Survey of the Performance of American Elections series that has been funded by the Pew Center on the States’ Election Initiative. Previous surveys were conducted immediately following the November 2007 gubernatorial elections in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi; the February 2008 ―Super Tuesday presidential primary; and the November 2008 presidential election.
As with past surveys, voters in New Jersey and Virginia reported overall high levels of satisfaction with their experience in the most recent election.
In New Jersey, 94 percent of respondents stated that it was ―very easy to find their polling place; 90 percent said their polling places were run ―very well; 2 percent encountered problems with their voter registration; 97 percent waited five minutes or less to vote; 1 percent encountered problems with the voting equipment; and 68 percent reported they were ―very confident their vote was counted as cast.
Respondents in Virginia reported similar experiences: 93 percent said it was ―very easy to find their polling place; 88 percent said their polling places were run ―very well; 1 percent reported problems with their voter registration; 93 percent waited five minutes or less to vote; 1 percent encountered problems with the voting equipment; and 75 percent reported they were ―very confident their vote was counted as cast.
One issue that has emerged since the controversial 2000 presidential election is that election administration has become more subject to partisan conflict, and voters have begun to interpret the fairness of elections from the perspective of whether their candidate won. The results from the 2009 survey, combined with results from previous surveys in this series, help to illustrate this point.