Studies Show Minorities and Democrats had to Wait in Line Longer to Vote in 2012

Friday, February 08, 2013

Democrats intend to push for new voting-related laws following multiple studies showing that their supporters, including minorities, had a tough time casting ballots last November.


The analyses indicated long lines at polling places discouraged more Democrats than Republicans from voting.


Eighteen percent of Democrats said they waited at least half an hour to vote, compared with 11% of independents and 9% of Republicans, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll taken shortly after Election Day.


A study out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that African-Americans and Hispanics waited nearly twice as long in line to vote on average than whites. The research also revealed that Florida had the nation’s longest lines (45 minutes), followed by the District of Columbia (33.8), Maryland (28.8), South Carolina (24.8) and Virginia (23.6). In Vermont, on the other hand, the average wait was just two minutes, and in Alaska and Maine 3.7 minutes.


In addition, a study by Ohio State University professor Theodore Allen and The Orlando Sentinel concluded that more than 200,000 voters in Florida “gave up in frustration” without voting.


To rectify some of these difficulties, Democrats in Congress have introduced bills that would require states to provide online voter registration and allow at least 15 days of early voting.


Lawmakers in 14 states will consider whether to expand early voting, including the highly competitive states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia, according to FairVote, a nonprofit group that advocates electoral change.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Waiting Times at Ballot Boxes Draw Scrutiny (by Jeremy Peters, New York Times)

Analysis: 201,000 In Florida Didn't Vote Because Of Long Lines (by Scott Powers and David Damron, Orlando Sentinel)

Lost Votes, Problem Ballots, Long Waits? Flaws Are Widespread, Study Finds (by Adam Liptak, New York Times)

Limiting Voters in Florida…Long Lines and Signatures of Stroke Victims (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Former Republican Officials Admit to Voter Suppression Efforts and “Marketing Ploy” to Damage Democrats (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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