As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the Voting Rights Act later this month, it’s important to remember that recent actions have made it harder for millions of eligible voters to register and participate in our elections. The New York Times takes a look at how lines to vote impacted the 2012 elections:
“Several recent polls and studies suggest that long waiting times in some places depressed turnout in 2012 and that lines were longest in cities, where Democrats outnumber Republicans. In a New York Times/CBS News poll taken shortly after Election Day, 18 percent of Democrats said they waited at least a half-hour to vote, compared with 11 percent of independents and 9 percent of Republicans.
“A Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis determined that blacks and Hispanics waited nearly twice as long in line to vote on average than whites. Florida had the nation’s longest lines, at 45 minutes, followed by the District of Columbia, Maryland, South Carolina and Virginia, according to Charles Stewart III, the political science professor who conducted the analysis.
“A separate analysis, by an Ohio State University professor and The Orlando Sentinel, concluded that more than 200,000 voters in Florida ‘gave up in frustration’ without voting.”
It is simply unacceptable that Americans are unable to participate in our electoral process. Democrats have reintroduced the Voter Empowerment Act to help modernize this process and fight voter suppression, but if we aren’t careful, our voting process is going to look like this: