RELEASE: New CAP Report Found ‘Severe’ Voter Suppression To Be ‘Widespread’ in 2018

Washington, D.C. — Following midterm elections with record-high turnout, but in which nearly 120 million eligible Americans did not participate, a new CAP report finds that voter suppression was once again widespread.

The report also found that some of the most severe instances of voter suppression occurred in states with particularly competitive gubernatorial or Senate races including: Georgia, Texas, Florida, and North Dakota.

“Especially in competitive elections, it’s not hyperbolic to say that every vote counts. Policies that limit voter participation can and do change the outcomes of elections,” said Danielle Root, voting rights manager at the Center for American Progress. “When we assessed instances of voter suppression around the country this year, we found that they were unsurprisingly focused on competitive races. Also, this year, it was rare to encounter an instance of voter suppression that targeted a wealthy, white community. Discriminatory voter suppression measures disproportionately targeted people of color and low-income Americans. For a country that prides itself on a commitment to democracy, the United States has a long way to go to ensure that all eligible Americans can exercise their right to vote.”

The report looked at nine types of voter suppression that were particularly prevalent during the 2018 midterms. Those include: voter registration problems; voter purges; strict voter ID and ballot requirement; voter confusion due to administrative errors and misinformation; voter intimidation and harassment; poll closures and long lines; malfunctioning voting equipment and disenfranchisement.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at jcusick@americanprogress.org or 202-495-3682.