Nearly 210,000 calls to voter alert line, final tally shows
Common Cause Education Fund Press Release
Fels Institute of Government at the University of
The Reform Institute
The Hispanic Voter Project at Johns Hopkins University
The National Constitution Center
See contact information below
More than half of callers trying to reach election officials on Nov. 2 failed to connect
Nearly 210,000 people called the 1-866-MYVOTE1 voter alert line to seek information about their polling place, make a statement about their voting experience, and/or connect to their local elections boards. Nearly 97,000 calls were made on Election Day, while more than 111,000 calls were made in the week prior and days immediately after Election Day. More than 102,000 calls were from voters seeking information about their polling place location, and about 55,770 voters left recorded statements describing their voting experience. Nationwide, almost half of the callers who attempted to connect to their local board of elections either before or after Nov. 2 failed to do so. On Election Day, 55 percent of callers who attempted to reach their board of elections failed to connect.
Voters in New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida placed the most calls into the voter line. The top counties producing calls were Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Broward County, Florida, and Los Angeles County, California. A list of the top ten states and counties that made calls appears in Table 1, below.
On Election Day, a team of students from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania listened to and coded, or placed into categories, a selection of more than 7,500 calls. Bilingual students from Johns Hopkins University handled Spanish-language calls. Of the coded calls, most – about 39 percent — were about registration problems. More than 20 percent of the coded calls were about absentee ballot problems, while about 13 percent concerned poll access. See Table 2 for a listing of the categories of concerns voters reported.
The 1-866-MYTVOTE1 line was sponsored by a consortium of groups that included the Common Cause Education Fund, the Fels Institute for Government at the University of Pennsylvania, the Reform Institute, the Hispanic Voter Project at Johns Hopkins University and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, where the operation was headquartered. The alert line was a featured component of the Election Day programming of NBC News and MSNBC.
The 1-866-MYVOTE1 phone line was made possible with the support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Proteus Fund, and individual donors. The technology behind the call was developed and managed by a group of companies led by Infovoter Technologies, Contact Solutions Inc., and NSpace Labs.
Table 2 (categories of concern)
Registration, identification, mechanical, provisional, intimidation, access (to poll), other
Contact: Mary Boyle, Common Cause, 202-736-5770
Chris Patusky, Fels Center, 215-746-5034
Cecilia Martinez, The Reform Institute, 703-535-6897
Adam Segal, Hispanic Voter Project, 202-265-3000
Denise Venuti Free, National Constitution Center, 215-409-6636