A significant increase in voter registration amongst independents and democrats in the United States. TargetSmart, a democratic political firm performed an analysis of local election offices against their database of voter files. The results showed a sharp increase in Democratic voter registration during the month of June. This sharp increase corresponds directly to the Black Lives Matter protests which occurred around the same time, making a clear statement that this year’s presidential candidates will have a tough fight on their hands.
In a statement released by TargetSmart in reference to their analysis, the firm said the following: “Despite a full or partial lockdown in large swaths of the country for much of the month, voter registration began to rebound as people took to the streets to protest.”
What it means
In the first half of June alone, an estimated 1.1 million voters registered. The 2020 voter registration numbers are only considered partial data because not all states have reported their full registration numbers for the month of June.
The Black Lives Matter protests that occurred in California, Michigan, Los Angeles, and Kalamazoo, MI saw many activists walking around with QR codes the attendees could scan in order to allow protestors to begin the registration process on their phone. Minnesota was one of the stand-out states for voter registration numbers as it was at the heart of all the Black Lives Matter protests, given the death of George Floyd occurred in Minnesota.
In another statement about the huge increase in voter registration, TargetSmart said the following: “Voter registration for Democrats nearly doubled in June from 17,000 in 2016 to 32,000 in 2020. Meanwhile, Republican registration essentially flat-lined at 17,000.”
Every spring before a presidential election is identified by a huge increase in voter registration numbers, especially before the primaries. However, 2020 was one of the first year’s where this statement was far from true as the global coronavirus pandemic caused major shutdowns in voter registration locations all across the U.S.
What to expect
It’s estimated that an approximate 52% of all voters register outside of their home as historical data proves. However, this year, common voter registration locations like registration drives, hospitals, and school campuses were closed due to public health concerns.
Another factor that many sources site as a catalyst for an increase in voter registration numbers is many American’s growing frustration with the way that president Donald Trump has handled the COVID-19 outbreak.