Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Virus prompts drop in new voter registrations in Virginia

Fewer new voters are registering to vote in Virginia because of the coronavirus pandemic.

New voter registrations are significantly lower compared with the two most recent presidential elections,

For instance, June experienced a 40% drop in the number of new voters who’ve registered in comparison to June 2016. That’s according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

June’s numbers were actually a slight rebound from the low numbers reported in May and April. Numbers have been ticking up as Department of Motor Vehicles centers have reopened. They are a primary location for voter registration.

“We’re definitely seeing it everywhere,” said Kat Calvin, the founder and executive director of Spread the Vote, a California-based organization that helps people register. “I am concerned and I understand it — we’re in a pandemic — but we still have an election Nov. 3.”

The virus has also stopped voter registration efforts like door-to-door canvassing and booths at public events. Many college campuses have also been closed.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

Related Articles