Feb 7, 2013
The New York Times graphed MIT's findings.
The numbers are in and it doesn't look pretty.
During the November 2012 election, black and Hispanic voters waited nearly twice as long in line to vote as white voters, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis. White voters waited an average of 12.7 minutes, while black and Hispanic voters waited an average of 20.2 minutes.
Shortly after Election Day, a New York Times/CBS News poll reported that 18 percent of Democrats said they waited at least a half-hour to vote, compared with 11 percent of independents and 9 percent of Republicans.
And a separate survey by an Ohio State University professor and The Orlando Sentinel, concluded that long lines drove away at least 201,000 Florida voters.
This is in no small part due to voter suppression tactics — reducing early voting hours, voter purging and registration restrictions — aimed to keep Democrats away from the polls.
But Democrats expect President Obama to address this disenfranchisement head on during next week's State of the Union address, according to The New York Times.
Congressional action could clean up this mess. The Brennan Center for Justice proposes enacting national standards to ensure that every citizen who takes responsibility to register and vote can actually vote. In a new report, the center says, "Our election system should offer the convenience, flexibility, and security that Americans demand from their banks and their retirement accounts. Every American citizen — whether retired in rural America, living in a high-tech city, studying on campus, or stationed in Afghanistan — should have a fair and equal opportunity to get, and stay, registered to vote. When you move, your registration should move with you. If you're an eligible voter you should be a registered voter — period."
Read more about how 50 million eligible citizens would be added to the rolls permanently and states would save money on election administration here.