The registration of new voters dropped dramatically in the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic, challenging efforts of both major political parties to enlist new supporters in battleground states ahead of the 2020 election.
The number of new voters registered across 11 states in April 2020 decreased by 70% compared with April 2016, according to a report from the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation & Research released Thursday.
Voter registration was well ahead of the 2016 pace in most states through February. It started to decline in March, when states began enforcing stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
By April, registration plummeted as the two most popular methods of signing up new voters – third-party at schools and other public venues and “motor voter registration” – virtually halted. The latter refers to a federal law that requires states to give individuals the opportunity to register to vote when they apply for or renew a driver’s license.
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