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Michigan elections rank sixth highest in nation

Published 8:26pm Tuesday, April 8, 2014

LANSING — Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced Tuesday that Michigan ranks among the best states nationally for election administration and performance, according to a national nonpartisan research organization that studied 17 elections performance indicators in depth.

The Pew Center on the States released a report today that called Michigan a “high-performer” for the 2008, 2010 and 2012 election cycles, one of only seven states. The state increased its national rank in 2012 to sixth overall, largely due to the creation of post-election audits, a reform that Johnson called for after taking office. The audits review compliance with several pre-election and Election Day procedures in individual precincts. Johnson proposed post-election audits in 2011 as part of her Secure and Fair Elections Initiative and successfully worked to have them signed into law by Gov. Snyder.

According to the study, Michigan also has the third-highest voter registration rate in the nation. This high ranking is due in large part to the outstanding job Secretary of State offices and local clerks do in accurately and efficiently processing voter registration transactions.

“Thanks to the hard work of our state’s county, city and township election officials, Michigan again ranks among the best in the nation for election administration, confirming what I’ve long known,” Johnson said. “We have an outstanding elections system that we’re continuing to improve by making it even more secure and convenient for voters.”

Johnson also thanked Bureau of Elections Director Christopher Thomas and the bureau staff for their efforts that allowed Michigan to perform so well.

Johnson has called for online voter registration, and no-reason absentee voting with ID, which would have placed Michigan even higher in the Pew Report. Already the Secretary of State’s Office allows many registered voters to update their voter registration and driver’s license address online at www.ExpressSOS.com.

The Pew study calculated and averaged a state’s overall performance by measuring 17 separate indicators that make up the overall index. The indicators are absentee ballots rejected; absentee ballots unreturned; data completeness; disability- or illness-related voting problems; military and overseas ballots rejected; military and overseas ballots unreturned; online registration availability; post-election audit required; provisional ballots cast; provisional ballots rejected; registration or absentee ballot problems; registrations rejected; turnout; voter registration rate; voting information look-up tools; voting technology accuracy; and voting wait time.

The study and interactive data reports can be seen online at www.pewstates.org/epi.

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