Democracy Diverted: Polling Place Closures and the Right to Vote
Thirteen U.S. states closed a staggering 1,688 polling locations in just six years, according to a new report from The Leadership Conference Education Fund. The report, Democracy Diverted: Polling Place Closures and the Right to Vote, notes that 1,173 of the closures occurred between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections – underscoring the scale of this assault on U.S. democracy. Texas, Georgia, and Arizona top the list of highest closure rates between 2012 to 2018.
The report’s authors detail the detrimental impacts that polling place closures have on historically disenfranchised communities, especially communities of color, voters with disabilities, and other populations that already face notable levels of discrimination. They also urge journalists, advocates, and voters to use the data to scrutinize the impact of poll closures in their respective communities, to understand their impact on voters of color, and to create a more just electoral system for all.