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D.C. Election Performance Index Still Poor, But Improving

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(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Courtney Pomeroy, All News 99.1 WNEW (Credit: CBSDC.com) Courtney Pomeroy
Courtney Pomeroy works as a Web Content Editor at All-News 99.1 WNE...
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LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — D.C.’s “elections performance index” is still fairly poor compared with other states, but is improving, according to recently released data from The Pew Charitable Trust.

D.C. ranks 40th out of 51, with an EPI of just 62 percent. In comparison, the highest ranking state, North Dakota, has an EPI of 86 percent.

Neighboring Maryland and Virginia are ranked 7th and 19th, with EPIs of 76 percent and 71 percent, respectively.

A state’s EPI takes several factors into account, including voter turnout, waiting times at the polls and the voter registration rate.

One of the outstanding shortcomings in the District is the fact that the city has the second longest average voter wait times in the country (33.9 minutes), second only to Florida.

Neighboring Maryland and Virginia didn’t fare much better in that category. Voters in those states waited an average of 29.2 and 23.6 minutes to vote in 2012.

The District’s rate of disability or illness-related voting problems was the highest of any state in 2012, at 25 percent. That’s based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s survey asking nonvoters why they did not submit a ballot.

D.C. also had a particularly poor showing with its rate of unreturned mail ballots — 28 percent. It came in second only to California’s 29 percent.

D.C.’s voter registration rate, however, was the best in the country in 2012, at 92 percent. The District also saw its EPI average rise 20 percentage points from 2008 to 2012, more than any of the 50 states.

Other findings:

Voter Turnout in 2012:
D.C. — 62%
Maryland — 67%
Virginia — 67%
Lowest in the Country — Hawaii (44%)
Highest in the Country — Minnesota (76%)

Voter Wait Times in 2012:
D.C. — 33.9 minutes (2nd longest in nation)
Maryland — 29.2 minutes (3rd longest in nation)
Virginia — 23.6 minutes (5th longest in nation)
Shortest in the Country — Vermont (2 minutes)
Longest in the Country — Florida (45 minutes)

Voter Registration Rate in 2012:
D.C. — 92% (highest in nation)
Maryland — 87%
Virginia — 86%
Lowest in the Country — Hawaii (71%)
Highest in the Country — D.C. (92%)

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