Hispanic and African-American voters were more likely to report that they or someone in their households experienced issues when trying to vote than white Americans, according to a recent poll on voter engagement conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute.
While most Americans did not report problems voting, the biggest problems that were reported included not being able to get off of work when polls were open (11%), not finding the correct polling place (8%), being told their names weren’t on the list even though they were registered (7%), missing the registration deadline (6%), being told they didn’t have the correct identification (5%) and being harassed or bothered while trying to vote (5%).
The issues that nonwhite voters were most likely to experience in comparison with white Americans included not being able to find their voting places, not being able to take off work and missing the registration deadline.
White voters reported experiencing those issues at 8%, 5% and 3%, respectively. African-American or Hispanic voters experienced the same by 8 to 10 percentage points more than their white neighbors.
More Hispanic voters (9%) reported being harassed at the polls than white voters (4%) and more said they had been turned away because their names weren’t on the list, even though they were sure they were registered. A combination of African-American and Hispanic voters say by 6 percentage points more than white voters that they were turned away for having the incorrect identification.
Also in the PRRI survey, respondents were asked about major problems with the election system. When asked if “eligible voters being denied the right to vote” was an issue, 38% said it was a major problem, with those who said it was a minor problem or not a problem tied at 29%.
Nineteen percent of Republicans said eligible voters being denied the right to vote was a major problem, while 56% of Democrats said so.
If all eligible voters participated in national elections, the Democratic Party would be the one to benefit, according to 39% of respondents. Sixteen percent thought the Republican Party would gain, while 3-in-10 said they would both benefit. Fourteen percent thought there would be no advantage on either side.