Young minorities face voting obstacles at polls
A new report finds that young adults, especially those of color, face certain inconveniences when voting at polls.
Among the targeted obstacles these particular voters face are higher chances of waiting in some of the nation’s longest voting lines and extended wait times in getting a government-issued voter ID.
This data is released in a new report by the Advancement Project, a multi-racial civil rights organization, and OurTime.org titled, The Time Tax: America’s Newest Form of Voter Supression for Millenials, and How it Must Be Eliminated to Make Voting Accessible for the Next Generation.
One of the key inconveniences discovered and discussed in the report is the “time tax” young voters experience.
The report also includes data on the changing demographic of Americans, stating that the millennial generation (those between ages 18-29) is more racially diverse than the general population ultimately, making up a large share of voters.
However, regressive voting policies have also been introduced in a majority of states, making the voting experience difficult for minority millennials.
“Young voters turned out in 2012 in spite of numerous barriers to the ballot, not because the system worked efficiently,” said Matthew Segal, president and co-founder of OurTime.org.
“From long lines and photo ID restrictions to emerging issues like challenging the residency of student voters and the need to update our antiquated registration process, young people, and especially young people of color, are disparately impacted. As we look toward the midterm elections of 2014, we must, and we can, fix this,” he added.
The report also provides policymakers with data-based recommendations to avoid such hindrances and gives methods to help make voting easier.
“In the face of targeted tactics from politicians, many youth voters across the country are refusing to have their voices silenced and are fighting back,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis.
“Change is also coming through community-based coalition building that taps the tools of direct advocacy with election officials and litigation to challenge voter suppression policies in court. Together we are building a next-generation voting rights movement, and we will prevail.”
To read the full report, click here.
Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works