Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: New Report Ranks New Hampshire’s Best and Worst Counties for Voting Access
Press Release

RELEASE: New Report Ranks New Hampshire’s Best and Worst Counties for Voting Access

New County-by-County Analysis of New Hampshire’s Election Administration in the 2012 Election

Washington, D.C. – The New Hampshire counties with the worst voting access are Cheshire, Strafford, and Sullivan, according to a new report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. The report identifies New Hampshire’s best and worst performers for voting access and voter experience by looking at four factors that reflect voters’ ability to participate in the democratic process: voter turnout, overall voter registration rate, rate of registered voters purged from voting rolls, and absentee ballots rejected.

In addition to examining New Hampshire’s worst election offenders, the report offers county-by-county analysis of 16 other swing states—states with the smallest margin of victory between the two presidential candidates in 2012: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The report finds that with election administration delegated to officials and boards in more than 3,000 counties and localities in the United States, the ease with which one exercises his or her right to vote can depend on where he or she lives. This pattern played out in every state that was analyzed.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Out of the New Hampshire counties that we evaluated, Sullivan had the worst voter registration and voter turnout rate in the state, while Strafford rated as the second worst on those two factors. In Sullivan, the voter turnout rate was almost 40 percent lower than the state average.
  • While these counties were the poorest performers in the state, our analysis revealed that New Hampshire had a remarkably small deviation between its best and worst-performing counties. This indicates a smaller discrepancy in voter accessibility between counties than in many of the other states we analyzed.

The report’s findings provide insights that can help officials, policymakers, and advocates better understand voting administration practices that work. By comparing voter access and experience across New Hampshire’s counties, officials can determine the best practices for ensuring that citizens have an equal opportunity to participate in the democratic process.

Read the report: Unequal Access: A County-by-County Analysis of Election Administration in Swing States in the 2012 Election by Anna Chu, Joshua Field, and Charles Posner

To speak with experts on this issue, please contact Madeline Meth at [email protected] or 202.741.6277.