Every other year the U.S. Election Assistance Commission conducts the Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS) to collect state-by-state data on the administration of federal elections. And we noticed some interesting numbers in the 2017 survey data.
According to the 2017 EAVS data, the average number of registered voters per polling place is between 1 and 999 voters (48%).
At KansasVotingData, we wanted to compare these national numbers to our Kansas polling places. As a state, our number of registered voters per polling place falls right in line with national data. Of our 1336 polling places, 689 – or 52 percent – have between 1 and 999 registered voters. However, this does show that 647 – or 42 percent – of our polling places have more voters than the national average.
When we look at the number of average number of registered voters per polling place per county, we see that 43 – or 41 percent – have an excess of the national average (1-999 voters).
While Kansas falls in line with national trends overall, there are places that fall significantly above this range. Kansas has 76 polling places with more than 4,000 registered voters – or 4 times – the national average. In fact, the polling place with the most registered voters in our state can be found in Liberal, KS with over 9,700 voters – that’s nearly ten times the national average.
More registered voters at a single polling place can mean more confusion, longer lines, and frustrated voters. All things that lead to a decline in voter turnout and ultimately civic health. We at KansasVotingData feel it is important for our Kansas election officials to monitor the number of registered voters per polling place to keep with national trends and best practices.