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Nevada Ranks 5th Nationally for 2012 Election Performance, Jumps from 22nd in 2008; Most Improved in the Nation in Military and Overseas Ballot Returns
Nevada increases its Election Performance Index score by more than 10 percentage points in Pew Charitable Trusts’ study
Posted Date: 4/8/2014

Contact: Catherine Lu, Public Information Officer 
             (702) 486-6982 / 334-7953 

(Carson City, NV; April 8, 2014) – Nevada is one of only seven states to raise its overall Election Performance Index (EPI) average by more than 10 percentage points, and is the most improved in the nation in the rate of military and overseas ballots returned, according to the PEW Charitable Trusts’ EPI study released today. Nevada’s performance ranking leaped from 22nd to 5th between the 2008 and 2012 elections, putting it in the top 10 percent of states.

The EPI study shows that Nevada’s rate of rejected military and overseas ballots fell by more than 8.5 percent from the 2008 to 2012 elections, and Nevada had the third-largest drop – almost 20 percentage points – in the rate of unreturned military and overseas ballots. Nevada was one of the first states to enact the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act in 2011 to simplify and improve the process for military and overseas voters.

Nevada also had the lowest residual vote rate – the discrepancy between the number of ballots cast and the number of voters counted for an office – in 2008 and the second-lowest in 2012.

“The 2008 election was the first I oversaw as Nevada’s chief elections officer, and I'm proud that these rankings show some of the most significant improvements in the country during that time period,” said Secretary of State Ross Miller. “We’ve implemented many measures to improve the efficiency and accessibility of elections for all Nevadans, and we’re proud that the counties do a fine job running elections on the local level, and the PEW study reinforces the fact that we run clean and secure elections in Nevada.”

To view Nevada’s Election Performance Index on the PEW Charitable Trusts’ website, click here.

This annual study allows states to measure election administration by looking at such indicators as wait times at polling locations, availability of voting information tools online, rejection of voter registrations, problems with registration or absentee ballots, rejection of military and overseas ballots, voter turnout, and accuracy of voting technology. The expanded index makes it possible for all 50 states and the District of Columbia to measure how well they conducted elections compared not only with other states, but also over time.

“We know common-sense solutions to improve elections exist. States are pioneering innovations that make a real difference in the efficiency and accuracy of their elections operations while also saving money,” said David Becker, director of Pew’s election initiatives project. “The Election Performance Index allows policymakers to pinpoint what’s working while also identifying areas where improvement is needed.”

Nevada joins the following states as the highest-performing (those in the top 25 percent): Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Research shows that states offering more convenient opportunities for voter registration had a lower rate of rejected registrations, lower use of provisional ballots, and fewer voters unable to cast ballots due to registration problems. Meanwhile states that utilized the latest technology to conduct data matching of state voter registration lists, such as the Electronic Registration Information Center, had a reduced rate of provisional ballots cast and rejected and in individuals who experienced registration problems.

The EPI analyzes 17 key indicators of election administration and scores each state’s performance by indicator and overall. The indicators are agreed upon by an expert advisory group led by Charles Stewart III, professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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