A new study finds that Georgia voters wait longer at the polls more than most other states.

The Election Performance Index (EPI) said Georgia ranked 49th in election waiting time – roughly 16 minutes of extra wait time is expected. States with the best wait time were Oregon and Washington.

EPI used an indicator which tracks the average amount of time voters spend in line to vote or to deposit a ballot that had been mailed to them in a drop box collected through survey responses.

According to the EPI study, Georgia ranked 4th in the nation on high residual vote rates which are associated with increased levels of machine malfunction and voter confusion, which lead to lower voting accuracy. This measure was first used after the 2000 Presidential election where there was confusion in Florida about hanging chads on paper punch ballots.

A bright spot in the study for Georgia was registration rejection rate at 0.29 percent. Registration rejection, according to the study, said that large rejections numbers of registrations indicate that many individuals who believe they have successfully registered have not. Georgia faired well in this category with a rank of nine.

Georgia received high ratings for online voter tools to look up how to register, locate polling places, and view sample ballots.

Overall, Georgia ranked 34th in the nation for 2016 which decreased from 27th in a 2014 study.

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Jeremy Spencer
Jeremy Spencer grew up in rural South Georgia and has served as a healthcare provider, high school science teacher, school administrator, and state education official. Jeremy is currently the market and content manager for All on Georgia-Camden and Glynn Counties. Jeremy’s focus is local news, statewide education issues, and statewide political commentary for the All on Georgia News Network. Jeremy has served as an education policy analyst for local legislators and state education leaders as well as a campaign strategist for local and statewide political campaigns. Jeremy holds degrees in science and education from the University of Georgia, Piedmont College, and Valdosta State University. Jeremy has lived in Camden County for over 17 years.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks for covering this. One reason Georgia is ranked 49/50 is because each voter needs access to a DRE (direct-recording electronic voting machine) to cast their vote. Paper ballots are cheaper and more plentiful, and reduce the time voters must wait to cast a ballot.

    Hopefully, Kemp’s SAFE Commission will do the right thing and switch from expensive and unreliable DREs to paper ballots. In addition to reducing wait times, a paper system would allow voter verification of ballots.

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