Virus prompts drop in new voter registrations in Virginia

Virus prompts drop in new voter registrations in Virginia
(FILE) (Source: WVIR)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Fewer new voters are registering to vote in Virginia because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that new voter registrations are significantly lower compared with the two most recent presidential elections.

For instance, June experienced a 40% drop in the number of new voters who’ve registered in comparison to June 2016. That’s according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

June’s numbers were actually a slight rebound from the low numbers reported in May and April. Numbers have been ticking up as Department of Motor Vehicles centers have reopened. They are a primary location for voter registration.

“We’re definitely seeing it everywhere,” said Kat Calvin, the founder and executive director of Spread the Vote, a California-based organization that helps people register. “I am concerned and I understand it — we’re in a pandemic — but we still have an election Nov. 3.”

The virus has also stopped voter registration efforts like door-to-door canvassing and booths at public events. Many college campuses have also been closed.

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