Reforming the long lines at the polls from the last election is now a rallying point for the Democrats, but what is the reality? According to research from MIT, excessively long voting lines were hardly widespread.
President Obama told a passionate story about the 102-year-old Desiline Victor, saying, “When Desiline arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours.” But was the long wait of this North Miami woman a common occurrence?
Not so, according to an MIT study. The average wait time in Florida was 45 minutes. The MIT Professor Charles Stewart III who performed the research said, “really, obscenely long lines were an unusual occurrence” because “Over a third of voters in 2012 said they didn't wait at all to vote.” In six states, voters waited less than five minutes on average.
Ed Meese Award Winner Hans von Spakovsky explains numerous problems with Obama’s use of Desiline Victor’s experience. First, Victor voted during the early voting period (as encouraged to do so by the Obama machine) when there were fewer precincts open (20 out of a total of 829). If she had voted on election day, she probably would not have had the long wait. Second, voters were taking a longer time to read and cast their ballots, which caused a longer wait; unless voters are more educated, election administrators cannot institute a reform that would fix that problem. Third, Victor could have voted by absentee ballot and would not have had to wait in line at all.