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Pew study ranks state first again in election administration

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The state has again claimed the nation’s top spot when it comes to election administration, according to a study released Tuesday by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The state ranked first in Pew’s Elections Performance Index, which considers 17 indicators such as wait times at polling locations, voter turnout and data completeness.

The study released Tuesday was based on the 2014 election. North Dakota also was ranked first in the 2012, 2010 and 2008 elections.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger attributed the top ranking to “the hard work and dedication” of his staff and North Dakota’s county auditors and their staff who conduct elections in the state’s 53 counties.

“Although we are being challenged as we prepare for the upcoming November election because of the recent injunction granted by a federal judge, I am confident that every state and county election worker will do their best to maintain the high standards of election administration that the state has been known for,” Jaeger said in a statement Tuesday.

Jaeger was referring to a federal judge’s ruling last week that found voter identification laws approved by North Dakota’s Republican-controlled Legislature in 2013 and 2015 were unconstitutional and disproportionately burden and disenfranchise Native American voters. The judge ordered that Jaeger use the state’s pre-2013 voter ID laws, which allowed for voting by affidavit as a fail-safe provision.

Minnesota ranked second in the Pew study, followed by Virginia, Wisconsin and Connecticut. Montana ranked 12th and South Dakota 21st.

-- Forum News Service 


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