Voting 101 ☝️

 Miguel Otarola / Cronkite News

Miguel Otarola / Cronkite News

How do you vote?

Yesterday, Americans cast their ballots in this year’s midterm elections. But voting isn't the same everywhere: each state decides how its citizens vote, whether by mail or by in-person polling station. This variety in voting methods is said to result in voter confusionintimidation, and outright discrimination.

Voter discrimination

Voter discrimination can take many forms, including unfair laws, poor weather, long linesmalfunctions, and misinformation at the polls. Many outlets chose to dive into this topic as they awaited election results yesterday.


LEANING LEFT:

Vox: Why Long Lines at Polling Places Are a Voting Rights Issue

Splinter: Even Voter Suppression King Brian Kemp Hit a Snag Voting Today in Georgia

The left views voter discrimination as a huge problem. This side argues that an accumulation of institutional legal barriers, mobilized through restrictive and racialized voter registration policies, results in mass disenfranchisement. One author called polling places themselves a “quiet form of voter suppression.”

LEANING RIGHT:

Washington Examiner: I’m a Campaign Volunteer — Don’t Feel Guilty if You Don’t Vote

Washington Post: ‘Vote Shaming’ Messages are Everywhere, and People Are Getting Annoyed

The right focuses less on voter discrimination as an issue. Instead, some, including President Trump, highlight concerns over voter fraud (which is often debunked as a widespread problem). This side suggests at least some low voter turnout is the result of “vote shaming,” emphasizing the rise of highly aggressive tactics designed to embarrass people into voting.


An end to voter discrimination?

Voter discrimination is illegal, but voters continue to face obstacles at the polls. Advocates suggest lots of ways of addressing this, from broadening same-day voter registration (as Maryland just did - see below) to implementing “convenience” voting and offering food incentives. There may be hope in this year’s voter turnout — early polls show historic participation.

When can I vote through an app on phone?

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