INSTITUTE INDEX: Voter registration deadlines loom in Southern states

Activists with the League of Women Voters registering voters in Mississippi in 2012. Registration deadlines are fast approaching nationwide, with some of the earliest ones in Southern states. (Photo by Natalie Maynor via Flickr.)

While the final votes in the 2020 election will be cast in person on Nov. 3, number of weeks before that date some states require people to be registered: 4

Of the 20 states that allow someone to register to vote in person on Election Day, number in the South: 0

Date of South Carolina's in-person voter registration deadline, the nation's earliest, with the state's online registration deadline coming one day later: 10/3/2020

Number of states that allow citizens to register to vote online: 41

Of those online registration states, number in the South: 10*

Number of Southern states that do not offer online voter registration, even though it has been shown to reduce costs, enhance government efficiency, and build more accurate voter lists: 3

Of the three Southern states without online registration — Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas — number that are among the five poorest in the U.S.: 2

Percent by which poor people in the U.S. who are eligible to vote are less likely to cast ballots than their higher-income counterparts: about 20

Rank of Texas among the states with the highest poverty rates: 11

Percent by which voter registration in Texas, now a swing state, was down for the first seven months of this year compared to the same period in 2016 — a nationwide trend amid the COVID-19 pandemic: 24

As part of its participation in the nonprofit Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) consortium, which helps states increase voter participation and keep their rolls up to date, number of postcards the Texas secretary of state sent out this year to residential addresses that appear to house people who are eligible to vote but may not be registered encouraging them to do so: 2.5 million

Of the 13 Southern states, number that are not ERIC members: 4**
Month in which the trend of declining voter registration numbers reversed dramatically amid protests over racial injustice, with Democrats enjoying a marked advantage: 6/2020

In June and July, percent by which registrations of Democrats outpaced those of Republicans in the battleground state of North Carolina: 12

In Georgia during that same period, percent by which Democratic registrations outpaced Republican ones: 30

Since the 2016 election, number of new voters who have registered in the battleground state of Florida: more than 2.43 million

Percent by which Florida's Democratic registrations exceeded those of Republicans in that time: 8

Under the 2002 Help America Vote Act, number of days before the election after which states are prohibited from removing anyone from the voting rolls, a deadline that arrived this year in early August: 90

* Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
** Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

(Click on figure to go to source.)