Following a record breaking 55% early in-person voter turnout, Floyd County voters
seem to be confident in their electoral process in northwest Georgia, according to a new study by
the Floyd County Board of Elections and Registration (BOER) titled the Floyd County Voter
Experience Survey (FCVES). A number of political scientists have noted that voter confidence is
a cornerstone of our representative democracy.
Willie Green III, supervisor of elections and registration and team members, examining how
elections administration affects the likelihood of residents having a positive voting experience
within Floyd County, found that more than 95% of self-reported voters perceived their voter
experience as “Very Good” or “Good.” The team examined data of nearly 1,300 early in-person
voters age 18-91 years of age from the FCVES between October 17-November 4, 2016.
Chairman of the Board, Steve Miller, says “it has been, and always will be the goal of the Floyd
County Elections Office to provide a simplified and superior voting experience for both the
electorate and the candidates. Rest assured, while these numbers show we have provided a
superior voting experience, our focus will be on continued improvements throughout each
election cycle, whether that be an off-year or presidential election.”
The survey had over 25 questions related to the voting experience during early in-person voting
at the county’s three early voting sites. The FCVES was conducted to provide the department
with empirical data for organizational performance and legal compliance. According to Green,
“more voters in southern states are choosing to vote early in person.” In a 2013 study by political
scientists Paul Gronke and Charles Stewart III, it was indicated that “Even with this trend, the
growth of the early in-person voting mode has proceeded apace in the South.”
The team also found that older voters were more likely to have had a more positive voter
experience than younger voters. According to Green, “This finding mirror national results in that
older Americans have more experience and are more comfortable with the electoral process.”
The team found that parking, accessibility, and reading the ballots were principle concerns of
respondents. In fact, only 53% of voters perceived the accessibility of early poll locations as
“Very Good” and 38% believed that parking was “Very Good.” Although previous studies have
not found a relation between voting experience and gender, the team also found that women were more likely to have a more positive voter experience than men. Perhaps this finding is related to the large number of respondents of women within the study.
“The empirical data shows that better organizational performance and community opinions are
needed to improve the effect of elections administration upon the perception of voters within the
county,” Green indicated. The voting experience within Floyd County is made possible through
hundreds of poll managers and workers that have served the county for decades. Moreover,
according to Green, “The voter experience is different for everyone, but the BOER consensus is
that through utilization of efficient, effective, and equitable voter services we will be a national
model of elections administration.”