Wilmington – Delaware ranks third nationally in the 2016 Election Performance Index, or EPI. The State finishes behind Vermont and Minnesota. Delaware ranked from fifth to ninth in previous EPIs.
The EPI evaluates the overall performance in election administration of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Pew Center for the States produced the first EPI following the 2008 General Election. Pew published subsequent EPIs following the 2010, 2012 and 2014 General Elections. The EPI uses data from various surveys to determine State scores in the 17 indicators used to rank the States. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) took over the EPI starting with the 2016 General Election. The EPI includes a detailed explanation of the methodology.
Delaware scored higher than the National Average in 13 areas, including:
- Residual vote rate of 0.32% compared to the National Average of 1.4%. The EPI states that this “…measures the performance of voting [equipment] by calculating the number of under- and over-votes cast in an election, as a percentage of voter turnout.” The EPI explains this topic more fully in the Indicators section.
- Voting wait time of 4.9 minutes compared to the National Average of 8.24 minutes.
- Voter registration rate of 86.99% compared to the National Average of 84.18%.
- Turnout of 64.61% compared to the National Average of 61.64%.
Delaware scored lower that the National Average in the following areas:
- Disability or illness-related voting problems where Delaware scored 17.22% compared to the National Average of 14.16%.
- Mail ballots not returned where Delaware scored 11.93% compared to the National Average of 11.11%.
- Military and overseas ballots rejected where Delaware scored 4% compared to the National Average of 3.55%.
- Registrations rejected where Delaware scored 7.58% compared to the National Average of 5.65%. Long-standing procedures resulted in staff coding records coding records as rejected instead of duplicate or test records. The Department corrected this problem. Delaware’s future rejected registration score will be much lower than the National Average.
Delaware uses technology to improve the delivery of election services to the State’s voters. The state’s iVote voter portal is a “one-stop location” where Delaware voters can register to vote, update their voter registration, find their polling place, view their sample ballot, request an absentee ballot, and much more at their convenience. The iVote system operates 24/7/365 with the exception of brief periods for maintenance. Additionally, the Delaware’s award-winning e-Signature system, is a model copied by many states including those touting automatic registration. The e-Signature system offers a convenient method for Delaware’s citizens to register to vote or update their voter registration record while conducting business with the Division of Motor Vehicles, maximizing efficiency and respecting their busy schedules.
State Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove noted: “Delaware’s Elections Team is dedicated to providing the highest quality and most convenient voter registration and voting experience to the State’s voters. Our mission of using technology to improve every facet of elections is reflected in our EPI rating. We will remain dedicated to continually improving the quality of service provided to Delawareans.”
Contact: Howard Sholl, Department of Elections, New Castle County Office, (302) 577-3464.