Latino Voters Face Long Lines in Texas, Florida

This post was co-published with Univision. Lea en español.

Long lines are one of the main problems that affect Latino voters, and Electionland is finding evidence of that this year during early voting.

In 2012, more than half a million voters were unable to cast a ballot because of lines, and studies show that voters in precincts with more minorities tend to face longer wait times. For example, in Florida, Latino voters faced the longest wait times – more than black and white voters, election administration experts Daniel Smith and Michael Herron found.

Lawyer Wilfredo Ruíz told Electionland that he waited nearly an hour at the Tamarac Public Library in Broward County, Florida on Oct. 24.

Grecia Jalomo voted for the first time in Austin, Texas on Oct. 24 and had to wait in line with more than 100 people, she wrote on Twitter. She told Electionland she waited more than an hour to cast her ballot.

Cristina Zuñiga of Duncanville, Texas, tweeted that she waited about an hour or so to vote.

Long lines discourage people from voting and undermine confidence in the electoral system, according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Charles Stewart. In one study, he estimated the economic cost to voters of waiting in line to vote is some $500 million. In 2012, Hispanic voters waited an average of 19 minutes in line, compared to 12 for whites, he found.

Claudia Báez for ProPublica and Rachel Glickhouse, Univision

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About Electionland

There is no act more central to a democracy than voting. Electionland is a project that will cover access to the ballot and problems that prevent people from exercising their right to vote during the 2016 election.

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