Stationed at the Denver Elections Division office downtown, they were able to watch voters marking ballots while also seeing election workers process ballots and verify signatures.
Denver’s ballots contained 1-2 school board races and 9-10 initiatives. According to Donny, vote times varied based on voter behavior.
“The average vote time hovered around four minutes,” Donny explains, “with some folks coming in completely prepared and getting out within a minute and others taking much longer in contemplating their choices.”
Even though their focus was on voting times, Tiana and Donny were also struck by Denver’s innovative voting system -- in particular, all the available voting options. Colorado mails ballots to all voters prior to the election, and voters can return them by mail, vote them in person at vote centers, or deposit them using convenient drop boxes.
“Denver is an amazing example of a process that is designed to be as convenient as possible for as many voters as possible,” Tiana observes. “You can even get a ballot to-go on Election Day as long as you return it to a drop box by the time polls close!”
Donny was especially charmed by a drop box that was set up in the middle of a road downtown for drivers (and cyclists!) to use. “Although, I didn’t envy the poor poll workers who had to stand out there in the sub-freezing weather!” he says.
All told, Tiana, Donny, and a few Elections Division staff members collected over 270 voting times -- all while managing to avoid frostbite.
St. Louis County, Missouri
Road tripping in a rental car, Director of Government Services Whitney May traveled to St. Louis County, Missouri, where she visited 20 (!) polling places. Data collection here was performed by a team of 20 high school students who were organized and trained by Board of Elections staff.
Driving around St. Louis County, Whitney met with each student, answered their questions about the project and about using the Voting Timer App, and reminded them about data collection protocols.
She was impressed with their dedication and thoughtfulness.
“Every high school student who collected data in St. Louis County was absolutely fantastic,” Whitney emphasizes. “They were professional, curious, and focused on their task. All of the students recognized the value of being a poll worker, whether it was for compensation, community service hours, or college application materials.”