Voter Suppression

Why are you needed?

Voter suppression was alive and well during the 2020 general election, but 2021 has brought hundreds of pieces of legislation to restrict voting in the majority of states (see Brennan Center for details).

If you missed NVC’s May 12th event, click  STOP VOTER SUPPRESSION ROUNDTABLE to see the video where five leading organizations share what they are doing in 2021 to protect voting rights, and how you can help them achieve their goals. Also from NVC, Vote Suppression, an overview presentation with speaker notes, created by Steven Matthews who edited the original version. For a more in-depth view of the history of voting rights, see the longer presentation Voting Rights and Vote Suppression by NVC ‘s founder, Alice Smith. It will be updated after important Supreme Court Decisions. Voting rights’ supporters are welcome to download the latest presentation for non-commercial use.

Voters are suppressed and discouraged in many ways:

  • Fewer polling places create longer lines of voters waiting to vote and longer distances to travel to vote.
  • Inconvenient or limited hours and locations for registration or early voting that hinder hourly workers and people without cars.
  • Last-minute changes that make polls hard to find or make voters go to unsafe locations.
  • Excessive voter ID requirements.  For people who don’t have a driver license, or were born at home and never had a birth certificate, it can be arduous to obtain an approved license.
  • Suppression of Voter Registration Drives:  In many states, restrictive laws (for instance, requiring the presentation of a birth certificate) make it virtually impossible to conduct voter registration drives.
  • De-registering “inactive” voters without reasonable notification, such as sending postcards designed to look like junk mail with instructions in tiny type instructing voters to reply if they want to remain registered.
  • Eliminating vote-by-mail options that allowed busy and hourly workers plus home-bound people to vote more easily.
  • Reduction of vote-by-mail drop boxes. 
  • Felony Disenfranchisement: Several million ex-felons nationwide are   prevented from voting or face huge obstacles to registering to vote.
  • Intimidation  by partisan “poll watchers.”
  • Mishandling votes (inaccurate machines, machines lacking an un-hackable paper trail, losing votes, etc.).
  • Gerrymandering (redrawing districts to make selected voters irrelevant).
  • Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck  Program, or “Crosscheck,” was a list-sharing system run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to purge allegedly “duplicate” & “fraudulent” voters by comparing voter names within and between states.