During the November 2012 election, Black and Hispanic voters waited nearly twice as long to vote as whites, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis. New York Times graphs summarizing the analysis show that white voters waited an average of 12.7 minutes, while Black and Hispanic voters waited an average of 20.2 minutes:
Long lines in several swing states were a major concern during this election, and the longest lines were in Florida, where another recent study estimated that at least 201,000 people may have been deterred from voting by lines that were hours long. This was in no small part due to Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) elimination of 6 early voting days in the state and other voter suppression initiatives that several top Republicans later admitted were intended to keep Democrats from the polls. Both the MIT analysis and a New York Times/CBS poll showed that Democrats had longer average wait times than Republicans. In the wake of the election, 14 states are considering proposals to expand early voting, including Florida, where Gov. Scott is now publicly supporting a restoration of the early voting days he cut.
A report released by the Brennan Center for Justice Monday proposes congressional action to modernize the voting system through voluntary automated registration that moves with the voter from state to state, federal investment in voter registration reform, as well as online voter registration options and same-day registration options. Democrats expect President Obama to address voter modernization reform during his State of the Union next week.