Young Voters VBM Rejection Rate
A paper published in April 2020, “Voting by Mail and Ballot Rejection: Lessons from Florida for Elections in the Age of the Coronavirus,” showed the existing problems with voting by mail that will likely be exacerbated by the pandemic. The study examined over 8.2 million ballots cast in the 2018 Florida General Election. 2.6 million voters voted by mail, of which 1.2 percent were rejected by local election officials.
The researchers found that younger voters, voters with disabilities and Hispanics were disproportionately more likely to have their ballot rejected. For example, the rejection rate of mail ballots cast by 18-21-year-olds was 5.4%, while 65+ voters had only a .6% rejection rate.
VBM Rejection Rates in Georgia’s 2018 Election
A study published in May 2020 entitled, “Voting by Mail in a VENMO World: Assessing Rejected Absentee Ballots in Georgia” merged Georgia’s statewide voter files with county-level U.S. Census Bureau data to analyze vote by mail ballot rejections in the 2018 Election. The researchers found that “newly registered, young, female, and minority voters have rejection rates that are higher compared to their counterparts, varying from 4 to 7 percentage points.” These findings show that not all absentee ballots are treated equally, and this problem will only be exacerbated by COVID-19.