Waiting in Line to Vote
Working Paper No.:  114
Date Published:  2013-07-28


Charles Stewart III, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Stephen Ansolabehere, Harvard University


 Waiting in long lines discourages some people from voting, undermines confidence in the electoral system, and imposes economic costs on voters.

Waiting in long lines was not universal in 2012.

Most standard recommendations for shortening lines derive from simple, straightforward application of queuing theory.

Unlike the response to the “lost votes” that beset the 2000 presidential election, there are no easily implemented reforms that have been demonstrated to be effective through systematic study.


Waiting in Line to Vote  (Size: 223 KB)