Secretary of State Brian Kemp has come under extensive criticism for his controversial actions contributing to voter suppression leading up to the election while running for governor. While those applicants can vote, they will experience additional obstacles. After significant public outcry, election officials rejected the proposal and fired the consultant. In Georgia, the law requires county election officials to reject absentee ballots that have signatures that do not match the signature on file.
Those voters were unable to vote that day. Some officials involved stated that county officials would explain the situation to the thousands of voters, although this course of action has not been confirmed by the county elections board. North Carolina Voters in North Carolina continue to experience challenges this election season. Reports of misleading information, voter intimidation, controversial policies, and legal action have all made it more difficult to cast a ballot that counts.
This individual repeatedly asked several black voters to spell their names. The individual who exposed the BB gun is currently in custody and was charged with ethnic intimidation. Immigration and Customs Enforcement by September Students Election officials in some states have made it difficult for a young voter to cast a ballot. Particularly, student voters in New Hampshire, Texas, Florida, and Michigan have been subject to suppressive policies leading up to the general election.
Despite this victory, state officials continue to make it difficult for Texas students to vote. County election officials failed to provide an early voting location on campus or in Prairie View City for part of the early voting period. Long lines prevented some from casting a ballot, and with the only other polling site miles away, students decided to contact county stakeholders and request the polling location be reopened.
Online Vote Suppression This election cycle has seen an increase in the use of online social media platforms to suppress the vote.
In recent weeks, we have heard reports of both foreign and domestic entities involved in this form of voter suppression. The accounts incited conflict on several political issues, and at times promoted opposing viewpoints. These social media accounts reached over one million people.
Circuit Court of Appeals prevented this from happening. In , Ohio purged hundreds of thousands of individuals from its voter rolls for failing to vote since A report by the Brennan Center for Justice found that between and , states removed almost 16 million voters from the rolls.
Eleven percent of all Americans lack the kind of government-issued photo ID that these laws require, while people of color, low-income Americans, and students are less likely to have qualified IDs than other Americans.
Supreme Court upheld a North Dakota law requiring voters to have an ID with a current street address, thereby potentially preventing tens of thousands from voting—including an estimated 5, Native Americans. And under this new law, even tribal ID cards are inadequate if they do not list a street address. It is still unclear how many North Dakota voters the discriminatory law disenfranchised. In , Kansas discarded provisional ballots at a rate that was 8. In , civil rights groups, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, challenged the law arguing that an estimated , potential voters lacked the proper photo ID; however, a federal court dismissed the case in January Circuit Court of Appeals in July , but no decision has been rendered.
This year, the state was set to implement a new strict voter ID law for the first time. Several states evaluated ballots using restrictive and discriminatory criteria resulting in the initial rejection of thousands of votes cast in the midterm elections. Of those discarded ballots, more than one-third came from the racially diverse Gwinnett County, where more than half of the rejected ballots belonged to African American or Asian American voters.
Across Florida, at least 4, absentee ballots were discarded for this reason. And it is about the right of a voter to have his or her vote counted.
There is no doubt there must be election laws … There is no doubt that election officials must make certain calls, under the rules, that deserve review. And there is no doubt some of those calls may hinge on highly subjective factors. The answer is simple. It does not. Even well-intentioned groups have inadvertently misinformed people, while others have intentionally sought to confuse voters and prevent them from voting.
On Election Day, voters in several states—including Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and New York—received text messages from various groups and organizations that included incorrect information about designated polling locations, which resulted in people going to the wrong polling places to vote only to be turned away. Voter intimidation and harassment This year, there was a rash of racially motivated attempts to frighten voters.
In late August, for example, Florida residents received a fake robocall alleging to be from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, but the call was ultimately traced to the Idaho-based white supremacist website Road to Power. In August, for example, the U. Department of Justice DOJ subpoenaed the voter records—an estimated 20 million documents in all—across 44 North Carolina counties that included disproportionate numbers of black and Latinx citizens.
ICE released a statement in response clarifying that they neither patrol polling places nor perform such blanket sweeps. Anyone caught will be subject to the Maximum Criminal Penalties allowed by law. Thank you. Poll closures and long lines Across the country, polling place closures prevent voting-eligible Americans from accessing the ballot box and contributing to the electoral process and contribute to long lines during voting periods.
A study from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies reported that long lines were estimated to have deterred at least , Americans from voting in the elections. For example, since , local officials in Georgia closed polling locations across the state—a move that has disproportionately affected poor and minority voters and made it tougher for them to travel to other voting sites.
Compounding the problem, officials sent mailers to newly registered voters, incorrectly informing them that they were allowed to vote at the old location. The nearby city of Waller, which has two early voting locations, is largely white. The students asked a federal judge to establish an early voting site on campus and require weekend voting hours.
Waller County eventually succumbed to the pressure, allowing the students three weeks of early voting and an on-campus polling place. Sixteen states already have a form of automatic voter registration , and it has not only increased the number of people on the rolls but has also kept voter registration lists up to date.
Cuts to both the number of polling places and early voting opportunities were widespread. Keep partisanship out of election oversight These tactics draw attention to the desperate need to restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down in Instead of partisan politicians, elections should be administered by nonpartisan experts who do not have a stake in the outcome.
While voters did experience many problems this election cycle, the important thing is that they still showed up and voted.
It is unclear how this large removal will impact voters on Election Day. Polling Places For in-person voting, it is essential that registered voters be able to access polling locations. The campaign later admitted the mistake and sent mailers with the correct information.
The officials have since sent corrected letters.
Voting equipment—including voting machines and tabulators, along with electronic poll books—should be thoroughly tested prior to Election Day to detect mistakes in programming and other vulnerabilities. It does not. Voters do not have to present ID to cast a ballot in November. Leading researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a resource allocation calculator to help election administrators across the country determine how many polling places, workers, or voting machines a jurisdiction needs based on a variety of factors—including the number of registered or eligible voters within a particular area. In late August, for example, Florida residents received a fake robocall alleging to be from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, but the call was ultimately traced to the Idaho-based white supremacist website Road to Power.
Regardless of its form or intent, however, voter suppression is relentlessly effective in preventing voting-eligible Americans from contributing to the electoral process. And while some voter suppression measures actively seek to discriminate against certain groups, others result from innocent administrative errors and glitches.
ICE released a statement in response clarifying that they neither patrol polling places nor perform such blanket sweeps. Greater participation among voting-eligible Americans results in representative bodies that better reflect the composition and interests of the broader electorate. Fortunately, there are common-sense solutions that jurisdictions can adopt to increase voter participation and eliminate voter suppression that disproportionately excludes certain groups from the electoral process. Just few examples include; polls opening late or closing early, "running out" of ballots or having your identity or voter registration status improperly challenged.
Voter Purges In the lead-up to this election, there has been a dramatic spike in voter purges, the often-flawed practice of cleaning up the voter rolls by deleting names of voters who may have moved or otherwise become ineligible.