There has been quite a bit of media coverage this week about the long lines that occurred at the polls in Maricopa County, Arizona during the recent primary elections. The questions raised include whether the lines were caused by having too few voting locations and confusion over new voter identification requirements. However, the bigger issue was likely a lack of staffing at the polling locations and lack of care in selecting where to locate the polls.
In our book Evaluating Elections: A Handbook of Methods and Standards, Michael Alvarez, Lonna Atkeson, and I discuss how simple data analysis can help local election offices avoid making simple election mistakes. A simple review of the historical data for Maricopa County suggests that having... more