WBUR

Report: Mass. Improves Voting Conditions

Voters wait in line outside the Jackson Mann School in Allston on Election Day in 2012. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Voters wait outside the Jackson Mann School in Allston on Election Day in 2012. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

BOSTON — Voting conditions improved in Massachusetts from 2008 to 2012, a newly released index from the Pew Charitable Trusts finds.

Massachusetts saw decreases in disability- or illness-related voting problems, rejection of military and overseas ballots, and registration or absentee ballots problems.

Wait time for voting, however, increased.

Overall, Massachusetts received an Election Performance Index average of 70 percent, which is an 8 percentage point increase from 2008, and nearly twice the national average of a 4.4 percentage point gain.

Massachusetts is currently ranked No. 22 among the 50 states and Washington, D.C. North Dakota boasts the highest indicator average (86 percent) and Mississippi the lowest (44 percent).

Here’s a closer look at some of the notable changes in Massachusetts from 2008 to 2012:

  • Average time spent at the polls waiting to vote increased from 5.6 minutes to 8.8 minutes.
  • The percentage of military and overseas ballots rejected decreased from 7.4 percent to 0.5 percent.
  • The percentage of disability- or illness-related voting problems decreased from 22 percent to 20 percent.

Click here for an NPR report on the national numbers.

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