Pew Research Center on waiting in line since 2004

I’ve been mucking around in surveys other than my own that document how long voters wait to vote.  I found that the Pew Research Center on the People and the Press asked this question in 2004, 2008, and 2012.  Unfortunately, the response categories are different from those in the Survey of the Performance of American Elections (SPAE), but the broad trend is the same as I reported at the December Pew Voting in American Conference.

The big trend is that the average line length to vote has been basically unchanged in recent presidential elections.  For instance, Pew estimates that 82% of in-person voters waited half an hour or less to vote in 2004, compared to 83% in 2008, and 84% in 2012.  So, whatever we think of lines in 2012 — that they were too long, too short, or just right — it’s likely they were that way in 2004 and 2008, too.