Maryland was a top performer in a review of 2012 election data released Tuesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonprofit research organization.
Of the fifty states plus the District of Columbia, Maryland ranked seventh overall. In 2008, its rank was thirteen.
Pew researchers created an Election Performance Index (EPI) using data from the Federal Election Assistance Commission, the Census Bureau, local election bureaus, and other sources. Among many other indicators, they noted voter registration rates and which states, like Maryland, allow online voter registration.
The EPI for the nation as a whole increased 4.4 points from 2008 to 2010. That means that the nation is getting better at voter registration, running elections, and counting votes. Maryland’s EPI increased 7 points over that time, from 69 to 76.
Pew’s full, interactive website with the findings can be found here.
Maryland was ahead of the national average in areas like voter turnout rate. It also had a low number of voter registrations that were rejected. Another factor that contributed to its high score was that the state provided 100% of the information requested by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s Election Administration, which served as one data source for Pew’s analysis.
However, the state had the country’s third-longest voting wait time, 29.2 minutes. That was up from 24.5 minutes in 2008. In a separate report released earlier this year, the President’s Commission on Election Administration said that wait times over thirty minutes are unreasonable. (Follow this link to read that report; wait time analysis begins on page thirteen.)