In 2016, barely half of eligible U.S. voters actually voted.
Texas, for example, only allows absentee voting if voters are 65 or older, disabled, or incarcerated but eligible to vote. Even during COVID, the state won’t expand absentee voting to more of the state’s population, and they’ve fought tooth and nail in court to prevent counties with millions of residents from opening more than one drop-off point.
Wisconsin requires the signature of a witness on absentee ballots. During the primary, the state threw out 14,000 absentee ballots because they lacked witness signatures. In a general election, those 14,000 votes could swing the entire result.
Eight states require witness signatures—and three even require a notary to sign it.
Arkansas and Alabama require voters to mail a photocopy of their ID along with their ballots, a burdensome requirement.
Milwaukee, had only five polling places in the primary. Voters had to stand in long lines and literally risk their lives to exercise their right to vote.
Already, states like Georgia are seeing 10 and 11 hour lines even for early voting in the general election. Some areas, especially where there are large numbers of voters of color, have few polling places and long lines.
Then there are the ID requirements.
Wisconsin is among the six states with the strictest photo ID requirements to vote. It’s no big deal if you have a Wisconsin driver’s license, state ID, or passport — but a very big deal if you don’t. In the 2016 election, in two Wisconsin counties alone, voter ID law kept 17,000 people from voting. Trump won Wisconsin by 22,700 votes.
Elections are held on a Tuesday, when most people work.