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Ohio Election Score Jumps 11 Places in Pew Ranking, Among Nation's Most Improved

COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced the Buckeye State’s national election administration ranking has improved by 11 spots during his tenure as the state’s top election official. The Election Performance Index (EPI), released today by Pew Charitable Trusts, shows Ohio moved from 30th in the nation in 2010 to 19th in 2014, a 36 percent improvement overall.

“Today’s report reinforces the fact that Ohio is a state where it is easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Secretary Husted said. “The report further validates that our focus over the past five years to establish uniform, statewide standards and maintain accurate voter rolls have improved elections in Ohio."

Ohio was one of only eight states to earn a double-digit improvement as part of the non-partisan organization’s system of ranking state’s election systems.

The Elections Performance Index tracks 17 distinct indicators of election administration effectiveness including issues experienced by voters, number of provisional ballots cast, the rate at which ballots are counted, wait times at the polls and voter turnout.

Ohio’s election ranking improvements include:

  • The number of military ballots that go unreturned has decreased.
  • The number of military ballots that are counted has increased.
  • The rate at which absentee ballots by-mail are counted has increased.
  • The number of provisional ballots cast has decreased.
  • The number of provisional ballots counted has increased.
  • The rate of issues reported with registration has decreased.
  • The rate of issues reported with casting an absentee ballot has decreased.
  • The wait time for in-person, Election Day voting has improved and is above the national average

Notably, Ohio’s average wait time for casting a ballot is just 2.4 minutes. Pew cites the Presidential Commission on Election Administration report from 2014 saying that no voter should need to wait more than 30 minutes to cast a ballot, putting Ohio far above the national standard.

In 2010, Ohio ranked 30th in the nation for the number of ballots counted from military and overseas voters. During Secretary Husted’s tenure, the state has improved to 16th in the nation. The state earned a 23 percent improvement for reducing problems with voter registration and absentee ballot issues.

At Secretary Husted's urging, the legislature has authorized the implementation of Online Voter Registration in Ohio in 2017, which will result in future improvements in the state’s ranking.

During Secretary Husted’s tenure, the number of provisional ballots cast has decreased, while the rate at which they are counted has improved, further proving that Ohioans are experiencing fewer problems in casting a ballot than they have in the past and local election officials are able to resolve what problems do occur quickly so more votes can be validated and counted.

Pew Charitable Trusts has created an interactive, data visualization website to display the EPI, which can be viewed here

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