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Project

Election Administration

Too few voting machines, understaffed polls, poor ballot design, and other administrative election problems result in millions of lost votes, especially in communities of color. The Brennan Center works for solutions to eliminate long lines at the polls and other voting hassles.

Overview

Millions of Amer­ic­ans are given a single day to vote: Tues­day — a work day, when voting is inev­it­ably squeezed in among errands and jobs. The result is long lines at the end of a busi­ness day and mistakes made by over­whelmed elec­tion offi­cials. 

Too few voting machines and poll work­ers also contrib­ute to long lines and millions of lost votes, espe­cially in districts with higher numbers of African-Amer­ican and Latino voters. Compound­ing these chal­lenges are poorly designed ballots, which can cause confu­sion and lost votes — poten­tially tens of thou­sands every elec­tion year.

We need more oppor­tun­it­ies to vote. Every state should offer early in-person voting a minimum of two full weeks before Elec­tion Day, includ­ing week­end and even­ing hours. Early voting and clear ballot design ease polling place conges­tion on Elec­tion Day, which improves poll worker perform­ance and voter satis­fac­tion. Early voting allows for earlier correc­tion of regis­tra­tion errors and voting system glitches, while well-designed ballots can prevent errors and confu­sion in the first place.

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