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Elections in America, by the Numbers

September 7, 2023

More than 10,000 elections are held in an average year in the U.S.

On any given Tuesday — or other days of the week — there is an election being held somewhere in the U.S. And elections are not one-day events — they are processes that involve significant preparation by many dedicated people.

Why so many elections?

There are more than half a million elected officials in the U.S.! Let’s add it up... 2: President and Vice President; 100 Senators; 435 Representatives; 50 state governors; 7000+ state legislators; 3,000+ counties and 19,000+ cities and towns, and all have some form of elected leadership, including: county executives, county council members, mayors, city council members, judges, school board members.

Elections are different from place to place:

There are more than 8,000 jurisdictions with different systems and methods of voting, including: in person at a polling place, in person at a vote center, absentee & vote by mail, two-round runoff, ranked choice, with a touch screen, with a pen, with assistive technology.

Elections are local:

Each state has a chief election authority. Elections are usually administered at the county level. Election officials are responsible for: Overseeing voter registration; Preparing the ballots; Distributing voting machines; Ensuring the accessibility, integrity and efficiency of the voting process; Many other tasks that help ensure elections run smoothly! States are required to send absentee ballots to uniformed service members residing outside the U.S. 45 days prior to Election Day (3). 94,000+ physical polling places, 645,219 poll workers on Election Day 2022 (4). 80% of states require audits (5) to ensure that established election procedures were followed in polling places. 100% of states have a plan for conducting recounts (5) to ensure that ballots were counted correctly.

Data: 1. 2022 National Conference of State Legislatures; 2. United States Census Bureau; 3. Federal Voting Assistance Program; 4. 2022 EAC Election Administration Voting Survey; 5. Election Audits Across the United States. Version 3.0.2. Information is current as of September 2023.