Types of Voter Suppression


Election Day may be over, but the fight is not! Georgia and Florida may be headed to recounts in their gubernatorial races. Both races have such close margins, and across the country we have seen undeniable evidence of voter suppression. Voter suppression is a common tactic used to suppress the vote of marginalized communities.


Voter suppression comes in many forms, each instance claiming a few hundred votes here and a few thousand votes there. The number of people affected by each tactic may seem inconsequential when compared to the total number of voters, but add them up and you’ll find a small but mighty tool that effectively silences the voices of black and brown voters across the country.

Types of voter suppression:

Pre- Election

  • Voter suppression laws. Many states have passed laws that will make it harder for people, especially people of color and poor communities, to vote.

  • Repealing same-day registration.

  • Repealing pre-registration for 16 and 17-year-olds.

  • Requiring specific types of photo identification that are difficult to obtain.

  • Repealing early voting. 

  • Closing down polling sites

  • Limiting the number of early voting locations and hours. 

  • Purging the voter rolls before the election cycle. 

  • Changing a voter’s polling site without notification.

  • Stringent voter registration laws.

  • Disenfranchisement of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.

  • Gerrymandering: manipulating district lines to compress the vote of a particular community.

During Election 

  • Inadequate staffing at the polling place causing long lines.

  • Inadequate equipment at the polling place causing long lines. 

  • Intimidation at the polls.

  • Poll workers requiring identification not required by state law.


  • Refusing to count eligible provisional ballots.

  • Misplacement of absentee ballots. 

  • Returned mailing for absentee ballots.