Project Vote, which is tracking the status of state-level voting legislation across the country, reports that “Twenty-two states are considering new or updated laws to require strict forms of photo ID to vote in person, and, in some cases, by mail.” – and “seven states proposed bills to require voter applicants to submit documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote.”
Still, there is good news for voting-rights advocates:
“32 states have proposed to take the onus of registering to vote (and maintaining that registration) off of the voter and put it onto the government where it belongs. Given the current voting rights climate, however, most of these bills do not appear to have a lot of strength behind them, despite recent bipartisan gains on the issue.”
In addition, “At least 21 states and the U.S. Congress are considering new laws to allow people to register and vote on the same day, either during the early voting period or on Election Day itself.”
New research published in the Washington Post confirms one of the worst-kept secrets in politics: Voter ID laws suppress minority voting.
“When we compare overall turnout in states with strict ID laws to turnout in states without these laws, we find no significant difference. That pattern matches with most existing studies. But when we dig deeper and look specifically at racial and ethnic minority turnout, we see a significant drop in minority participation when and where these laws are implemented.
Hispanics are affected the most: Turnout is 7.1 percentage points lower in general elections and 5.3 points lower in primaries in strict ID states than it is in other states. Strict ID laws mean lower African American, Asian American and multiracial American turnout as well. White turnout is largely unaffected.
These laws have a disproportionate effect on minorities, which is exactly what you would expect given that members of racial and ethnic minorities are less apt to have valid photo ID.”
Our sister organization, Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, and Democracy Corps surveyed 1,300 voters between Nov. 7 and Nov. 9, 2016, including an oversample of 200 Rising American Electorate voters and 200 battleground state voters (AZ, FL, OH, IA, NC, NV, NH, PA, VA, WI). Select highlights are below; you can read the full survey here.
Voters Dissatisfied With Economy’s Progress and Fairness
Lots of Rising American Electorate, including unmarried women, thought Trump expressed legitimate frustration
The Pew Charitable Trusts have just published a new Elections Performance Index, an interactive feature with data from “the first comprehensive assessment of election administration in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.”
Using indicators for ballot access and ease of voting like voter turnout, registration rate, registration or absentee ballot problems, and voting wait time, they’ve assigned each state a percentage score for its election administration for every federal election from 2008 to 2014. In the 2014 election, the state with the best score was was North Dakota, with 84%; the bottom-scoring state was Alabama, with 49%.
In their interactive data feature, you can view each state’s scores on all of the individual indicators, a ranked list of all the states, or compare states’ scores from election to election. It’s a great tool to see how voters in many states still face significant challenges in order to raise their voice in our democracy.
How does your state stack up in Pew’s rankings? Find out here.
As seen in CNN, Pew Research Center’s latest report confirms Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers – but in terms of voter registration, Boomers still dwarf Millennials.
Both Millennials and Baby Boomers account for about 31% of Americans who can vote, though the number of Baby Boomers, who are ages 52 to 70 this year, has been declining since its 2004 peak of 72.9 million. Gen Xers, who are between 36 and 51 years old, number only 57 million, or 25% of the electorate. […]
“While it might be a ‘slam-dunk’ that millennials soon will be the largest generation in the electorate, it will likely be a much longer time before they are the largest bloc of voters,” wrote Pew Senior Researcher Richard Fry, who authored the report.
Pew Charitable Trust and the Virginia Department of Elections teamed up to help make “decisions related to election administration more transparent and evidence-based.”
Their early results are in, and they are encouraging..
James Alcorn, chairman of the State Board of Elections, thinks this project will be an important resource for election officials and the public. “All too often, discussions about election administration turn on anecdotes because objective evidence wasn’t easily available. This tool turns the hard data that the Department of Elections collects into accessible, objective information that can be used to improve elections across the commonwealth,” he says.
As a recent editorial in the New York Times highlights, while some states are taking advantage of the Shelby decision to prevent Americans from voting, several states are working to expand the franchise and protect citizens’ voting rights.
Oregon, in particular, is blazing the path forward with its adoption of automatic voter registration at the DMV. Liz Kennedy at Center for American Progress writes: “The millions of eligible citizens who are missing from America’s voter rolls can be placed on those rolls in a cost-effective and secure manner. States can and must remove barriers and facilitate political participation for all eligible voters so that every voice is heard as our nation charts the course forward together.”
Read the full story.
Indiana’s standalone primary on May 3 has emerged as a must-win for Republican Ted Cruz. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton come into the state with momentum from their multi-state wins last Tuesday. There are 57 delegates at stake in Indiana’s GOP primary, and 92 in the Democratic primary. The Rising American Electorate (RAE)—the unmarried women, people of color, and millennials who make up 57% of eligible voters nationally—make up only 46% of Indiana’s voting-eligible population. Unmarried women make up the largest percentage of the RAE in Indiana. Learn more about their lives.
At The Atlantic, Ronald Brownstein and Leah Askarinam have crunched the numbers on 22 state exit polls to find that presidential primary candidates’ demographic appeals have remained remarkably consistent since the voting began in February. In other words: throughout this contest, a state’s demographic makeup—race, gender, age, and socioeconomic status—has been the major factor in determining which of the Republican and Democratic primary candidates will win there.
Read the article.
The five presidential primaries next Tuesday are all on the east coast—Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. These primaries could mark the end of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign and move the Republicans closer to a contested convention.
Here’s what’s at stake:
- Connecticut: 70 Democratic delegates (awarded proportionally); 28 Republican (awarded proportionallyif no candidate gets >50%, winner-take-all if one candidate does)
The Rising American Electorate—unmarried women, people of color, and millennials—make up the majority of voters in Maryland (56%) and Delaware (56%) and close to half the electorate in the other primary states (49% in Connecticut, 47% in Pennsylvania, and 48% in Rhode Island).
Forty percent of the eligible voters in Maryland are people of color (40%), the largest share of any state voting on Tuesday. 30% of MD’s eligible voters are African Americans—and the participation of these voters could decide the tightly-contested Democratic primary race for the open U.S. Senate seat between Representatives Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards. According to Washington Post polling, voters are split along racial lines between Van Hollen, a white man, and Edwards, an African-American woman. The Post poll shows that Edwards has a 51-point lead among African-American women.