In the last election, there were over 224 million American citizens over the age of 18 in the United States, and yet only around 157 million were registered to vote. Even fewer actually voted.
Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey and a current ABC News commentator noted on This Week on a recent Sunday morning: “2017 in New Jersey, the lowest voter turnout for governor in the state’s history. It was 36 percent turnout for a statewide gubernatorial race in New Jersey. To just give you an example, eight years earlier, when I was elected the first time, it was 48 percent. It’s a big, big change.” It may have been 38.5% in 2017, but point taken.
Each state determines how it will run its elections in terms of hours of voting, deadlines for registering. So the ability to stifle the process is quite varied.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction in its lawsuit against the Georgia Secretary of State that seeks to remedy an unlawful racial gerrymander. “The lawsuit concerns Atlanta metro area Georgia House of Representatives Districts that were redrawn in 2015 for the sole purpose of helping white incumbents get reelected.”
New Yorkers face unreasonably early registration deadlines, no option for early voting, severe restrictions on absentee voting and long lines at the polls. The state’s user-unfriendly voting laws caused such dismal voter registration and turn-out rates in the last presidential election that New York had the eighth worst turn-out in the country.
There are far too many other examples to list here.
One activist group recommends that Congress must take thesee steps to secure our elections:
Audit elections to verify that ballots are counted and reported correctly
Require paper ballots (or, at least, paper receipts for electronic ballots)
Enact national vote-by-mail
Develop a national response to foreign attacks on our election systems
For ABC Wednesday