Why Did Some Potential Voters Stay Away from the Polls in the 2016 Election?

New Survey Sheds Light on Factors Limiting Voter Participation

The Craig Newmark Foundation funded a post-election survey to better understand the reasons why some voters didn't participate in the 2016 election.  The results won't be a surprise to those who have been following recent voter suppression efforts.

Almost half of Hispanic and Black voters who didn't vote wanted to do so, but were unable.  It's not just a racial or ethnic issue -- this was true for about 3 in 10 White voters as well.

Why were they unable to vote?  Two clear problems combine to create a roadblock.  One third of these voters couldn't get the time off from work to vote.  And then you have long lines at the polls, which are even more of a problem when you only have a limited time you can be away from work.  The lines disproportionately impacted Hispanic voters, at twice the rate of White voters.

And let's not forget the impact on younger voters too.  Millennial and Gen X voters of all races filed a disproportionate number of provisional ballots.  Often this is because younger voters tend to move more often, which can wreak havoc with registrations.  This can have a significant impact where voting restrictions are overly burdensome or enforced too aggressively.  Lower income voters, who may not own homes, move more often as well.

So there you have it.  A significant portion of the electorate who wanted to vote -- and by all accounts should be able to vote -- who were prevented from exercising this right and having a voice in the future of our country.

It's time to fix this.  Sign up for our mailing list now or donate today to help our efforts to educate, advocate, and make a difference at the polls.