Secretary of State Jim Condos announced that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Election Data & Science Lab has released its post 2020 Elections Performance Index (EPI), ranking Vermont 1st overall nationally in elections administration for the 2020 election. This marks the second #1 ranking for Vermont following the last two Presidential elections.
The EPI is widely considered by state election administrators as the most reputable elections management index. It provides a non-partisan, data-driven measure of how well each state is performing in managing the conduct of elections, using a number of indicators ranging from voter turnout to the availability of online tools for voter accessibility.
“I’m very proud of the hard work our office and specifically our Elections Division team have done to achieve a 1st overall ranking in the EPI,” said Secretary of State Jim Condos. “This ranking means that across numerous measures we have increased accessibility, and decreased roadblocks, for Vermont voters, while ensuring that our elections process is functioning effectively as the bedrock of our democracy.”
“Returning to our 1st in the nation ranking is a tremendous accomplishment; and speaks not only to the hard work of our staff, but also to the exemplary work of Vermont’s Town and City Clerks, and the common-sense voter laws and practices we have in the Green Mountain State,” said Deputy Secretary of State Chris Winters. “Our ability to lead the nation in the administration of accessible and secure elections, during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, is truly a credit to our team, the clerks, Vermont legislators, and our vendors all working together to strengthen our democratic institutions.”
This marks the second time Vermont has achieved a 1st place finish – in two consecutive Presidential election years. Since the 2012 ranking, Vermont has moved from 38th nationally, to 16th in the 2014 ranking, to a first-place overall score in 2016 following the 2015 implementation of our state-of-art elections platform. In the 2018 ranking Vermont maintained a Top 5 finish at 3rd place, and now, following the 2020 election, we have retaken the #1 spot.
Vermont is the first state in the history of the EPI to achieve above a 90% grading across all categories for a Presidential election year.
“Over the past decade Vermont has shot from the middle of the pack to the top of the EPI. It’s long been a place where Vermonters could vote conveniently with assurance their votes count,” said Charles Stewart, MIT Election Lab director and Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at MIT. “What’s made a difference is that the state has added even greater convenience through the use of internet outreach, and greater security through post-election audits.”
“Our focus has been, and will continue to be, making our election systems as accessible and secure for Vermont voters as possible, including through Vermont’s most recent election reform which makes the mailing of ballots to all voters a permanent feature of Vermont General Elections,” said Condos. “Our #1 overall ranking and performance increase show that we’re on the right path, and we will keep working daily to innovate and improve.”
The Elections Performance Index and complete 2020 data can be viewed at http://elections.mit.edu/.