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A recent study by the Voter Participation Center found that 25.4 million voters who turned out for the 2016 presidential election considered part of the Rising American Electorate (RAE)—unmarried women, millennials and people of color—will not vote in the midterm elections in 2018. The findings are a call to action in the fight against voter suppression laws and gerrymandering.
The RAE currently make up 59.2 percent of the population. 8.1 million more votes cast by the RAE than other voting blocs made the 2016 presidential election the first in history where they made up the majority—52.6 —of the electorate. The projected 35.1 percent loss of RAE voters in 2018 indicate that the fight to combat voter suppression and ensuring that all citizens are registered to vote is more important than ever before.
Since 2008, voter suppression laws disproportionately targeted at the RAE have been passed all across the U.S.—particularly impacting African American, elderly, disabled and student voters to cast ballots in local, state and national elections. Voter suppression laws have cut early voting times or closed early voting programs, put in place mandatory voter ID policies at the polls and even purged voter rolls.