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Election Management in the U.S. is Improving
Elections Performance Index evaluates the 2016 election

States’ administration of elections overall improved by 6 percentage points between 2012 and 2016, according to the Elections Performance Index (EPI) released today by the MIT Election Data & Science Lab.

As many readers will know, the index, which was developed and managed by The Pew Charitable Trusts before being transferred to MEDSL in 2017, provides a nonpartisan, objective measure of how well each state is faring in managing national elections. When it launched in 2013, it provided the first comprehensive assessment of election administration in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.; it now includes data from every federal U.S. election since 2008. It’s calculated using 17 indicators that cover the broad scope of issues involved in managing elections, providing specific metrics for election officials, voters, and policymakers to compare their state with its own past performance, as well as the performance of other states.

“The index is an important foundation for the ongoing discussions on election management,” said Charles Stewart III, the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and MIT Election Lab’s founding director. “The new release of the index helps remind us that election administration is a multi-dimensional challenge. Significant improvements in the 2016 index also illustrate that when election officials commit themselves to a path of improvement, good things can happen.”

Overall, almost all states improved their index scores between the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, with 22 states improving at a rate greater than the national average. Overall, Vermont showed the most significant improvement from 2012, landing at the top of the index for the first time after expanding the availability of online tools, providing online voter registration, and requiring a postelection audit. Read more…