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Mar 31

The Real Reason Millennials Aren’t Voting

Craigslist and craigconnects founder, Craig Newmark, recently partnered with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law to poll 1,006 Americans over the age of 18 about their perception of voting in America, and the consensus was a bit shocking.

According to the survey, state voting restrictions are making it harder than ever for minorities and the Gen-Y population to have a say in the polls.

“Since the 2010 election, 21 states have implemented new voting restrictions, and these sorts of things are against the will of the people, at least most people,” Newmark said.

Voting, Millennials
[Image via craigconnects]

According to the survey results, 69 percent of Americans are against voter ID laws and closing DMV offices early. Fifty-nine percent believe increased participation in voting means a healthier democracy, and a full 60 percent support automatically and securely registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew a driver’s license.The majority of Americans want to see reforms that will ensure that voting is not only free, but fair, and accessible to all eligible citizens.

In February, Sauk City, Wisconsin, made headlines due to the restrictive ID office hours, where the doors are only open between 8:15 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the fifth Wednesday of each month — there are only four fifth Wednesdays in 2016.

In addition, 11 states – Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming – have closed primaries or caucuses altogether, which means only those who are registered as Republicans or Democrats prior to the primary date can participate in the nomination process for its candidates.

“Some at the state level will tell you these laws are meant to prevent voter fraud, but there’s almost no evidence of voter fraud. I believe what they’re really meant to do is prevent minorities from voting,” Newmark said. “And I learned in civics class that’s un-American.”

Newmark’s findings show that more than half of the 19 million millennial voters in America identify as independent.

voting, millennials
[Image via craigconnects]

“This November, voters in 16 states will face new restrictive voting rules for the first time in a high-stakes presidential election,” Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center said. “Cutting back on voting access can shut out eligible voters and create major problems on Election Day, as we learned last week in Arizona,” Weiser continued. “Instead of making it harder to vote, we should make sure the process works well for every American by instituting new reforms. Automatically and securely registering every eligible voter can add millions to the rolls and ensure all citizens can go to the polls this November and make their voice heard.”Additional findings include the following.

  • In comparison to white voters, six times more Hispanic voters report a wait time longer than 30 minutes.
  • In comparison to white voters, four times more African-American voters experience a wait time of more than 30 minutes.
  • 78 percent of Americans feel as though they have not been encouraged to participate in their state’s primary or caucus.
  • 50 percent of Americans are unsure of where to obtain information about their state’s primary or caucus.
  • Millennials and Gen-Xers are three to four times more likely than Boomers to have to wait in line to vote.
  • 50 percent of Millennials describe themselves as political independents, and are restricted from voting in 11 states with closed primaries or caucuses.

Note: 1,006 interviews among people were conducted online from January 26-28, 2016. The Bayesian confidence interval for 1,000 interviews is 3.5, which is roughly equivalent to a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 at the 95 percent confidence level.

Source: The Real Reason Millennials Aren’t Voting

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