Study: Indiana among bottom 10 states for ease of voting

A new study released this week ranking the 50 states for ease of voting puts Indiana in the bottom 10, though the state’s rank has improved slightly from its position in same study two years ago.

The Cost of Voting Index, compiled by Northern Illinois University political scientist Scot Schraufnagel and colleagues Michael J. Pomante II of Jacksonville University and Quan Li of Wuhan University in China, ranks the Hoosier State 41st in ease of voting. Indiana ranked 46th in the initial Cost of Voting Index in 2018.

“Voting and elections are at the heart of our democracy, and voting should be easy,” said Schraufnagel, the study’s lead author. “One characteristic that helps define the competency of an electoral system and the legitimacy of governing institutions is the ease in which you can cast a ballot.”

The study assigns weight to numerous election laws to rank each state according to the time and effort it takes to vote in U.S. presidential elections, combining the effort required to register to vote and the effort required to cast a ballot into a single index value.

The study favors factors such as allowing voters to register as late as Election Day, automatic voter registration, requiring only a signature to vote rather than requiring a photo ID, and the ability to cast a ballot before Election Day in person or by mail.

Here are the survey’s rankings of the top 10 and bottom 10 states for ease of voting:

  1. Oregon
  2. Washington
  3. Utah
  4. Illinois
  5. Maryland
  6. Hawaii
  7. Colorado
  8. North Dakota
  9. Vermont
  10. California

* * *

  1. Indiana
  2. Arkansas
  3. Kentucky
  4. South Carolina
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Tennessee
  7. Mississippi
  8. Missouri
  9. Georgia
  10. Texas

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