Tweet Explains Why We Should Not Celebrate Long Voting Lines

November 6th 2016

Tricia Tongco

You see long lines of people at the polls waiting to cast their ballots in early voting, and you might see patriotism.

But one Twitter user saw something completely different.

Johnson, a political analyst and professor, was apparently responding to photos of long early voting lines circulating on social media, with positive sentiments around them.

People at early voting sites reportedly stood in line for hours — even staying past the polling sites’ closing times. A record number of people – more than 57,000 – cast their ballots on the last day of early voting.

But the long lines suggest underlying problems at the polling places.

ATTN: has previously reported that Nevada has had problem: "[Because] of glitches in registration or mistakes on the part of voters, some people were turned away from the polls and offered provisional ballots.These ballots would only allow them to vote for federal candidates and didn’t allow them a voice on Nevada ballot questions, such as whether to legalize marijuana. If their registration cannot be proved in the state, their vote won’t count at all."

Nevada isn't the only state dealing with obstacles to voting. Southern states have closed down at least 868 polling places as a result of a 2013 Supreme Court decision to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibited racial discrimination in voting, according to the civil rights organization Leadership Conference Education Fund.

Some states have been able to pass more voting restrictions, such as voter ID laws, as a result.

The closure of polling places disproportionately hinders minority voters from voting, according to a Leadership Conference report:

"Polling place closures are a particularly common and pernicious tactic for disenfranchising voters of color. Decisions to shutter or reduce voting locations are often made quietly and at the last minute, making pre-election intervention or litigation virtually impossible. These changes can place an undue burden on minority voters, who may be less likely to have access to public transportation or vehicles, given continuing disparities in socioeconomic resources. Once an election is conducted, there is no judicial remedy for the loss of votes that were never cast because a voter’s usual polling place has disappeared."

ATTN: reached out to Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, Alabama, and South Carolina for comment regarding voter suppression and will update when they respond.

[h/t Vox]