Addressing Voter Registration Disparity Between States: How States Can Induce Voter Registration by Following California’s Framework

(Source) I. Voter registration disparity and the effects of COVID-19 on voter registration The 2020 presidential election revealed a remarkable 168,310,000 registered voters. In comparison, the 2016 presidential election boasted 157,600,000 registered voters. The rise in registered voters is a promising trend because voter registration is directly tied to votes cast and an active electorate reflects fair governance. The increased registered voters in 2020 are even more impressive given the challenges that states faced with adapting to registering voters throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, while some states excelled in registering their citizens to vote, other states, like Wisconsin and Colorado, came short in raising voter registration rates.  The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic coaxed California and six other states to adopt “all-mail voting” for 2020 election voters. California’s voter registration process allows citizens to register to vote online or mail. In a state where vote-by-mail is utilized, California’s voter registration and turnout rates are promising. In Orange County, California, lower-income and diverse voters saw a voter increase of 42% which comprised the majority of the rise in total California voters. Voter outreach groups credit the state’s decision to mail voter forms to registered voters for the increase in turnout. However, [read more]