Tags: report | voting rights | polling stations | election

Report: Over 1,600 Polling Places Closed After Change to Voting Rights Act

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More than 1,600 polling places have closed in states where the Voting Rights Act no longer has jurisdiction. (AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 September 2019 02:55 PM

More than 1,600 polling places have closed in states where the Voting Rights Act no longer has jurisdiction since the 2013 Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, according to a new report from The Leadership Conference Education Fund.

The Education Fund found that 1,688 polling places closed between 2012 and 2018, and note that the report "analyzes the reduction of polling places in the formerly covered Section 5 jurisdictions in the years between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections. We found 1,173 fewer polling places in 2018 — despite a significant increase in voter turnout."

The researchers analyzed 757 counties in the various states that were previously covered by Section 5, and found that 298, or 39 percent, reduced their polling places between 2012 and 2018.

"Because presidential elections tend to have higher turnout rates than midterms, we analyzed the data to determine whether the number of polling places varied to meet the different demands of each type of election,” the researchers note. “They did not. Most (69 percent) closures (–1,173)16 occurred after the 2014 midterm election."

The report concludes that “by far, the most common justification for closing polling places was no justification at all. Local officials who did offer an explanation often cited pretexts, such as budget constraints, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), school safety concerns, limited parking, changes in voter turnout, or even simple logic. As one election commissioner from Mississippi put it, sometimes closing polling places just makes sense.'"

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More than 1,600 polling places have closed in states where the Voting Rights Act no longer has jurisdiction since the 2013 Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, according to a new report from The Leadership Conference Education Fund.
report, voting rights, polling stations, election
247
2019-55-10
Tuesday, 10 September 2019 02:55 PM
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