Washington, D.C. – All Voting is Local has published our latest report, “The Cost of Voter Suppression In America: How High Fees are Blocking Access to the Ballot,” today, revealing the real-life costs of voting and how those fees amount to voter suppression in America. Our research found that a first-time voter will spend upwards of $105 to register and cast their ballot successfully. All Voting surveyed eligible voters across the U.S. to better understand how present-day election laws and voting policies affect their ability to participate in our democracy. In this report, we estimate the real out-of-pocket costs voters face when attempting to cast their ballots and make their voices heard, and make recommendations for election officials that aim to expand access to the ballot, not make it harder for people to vote.

Since the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, at least 29 states have passed nearly 100 anti-voter laws—and the racial turnout gap in voting has grown consistently over the last decade, as these laws restrict turnout of Black, Brown, and other marginalized voters more than their white counterparts. As anti-voter officials explore different avenues of voter suppression, it is imperative that election officials fully understand the impact that their decisions regarding voting policies have on the average voter in America. All Voting is Local is tracking these policy decisions across the eight states we work in, Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. 

Our findings:

  • A first-time voter will end up paying approximately $105 to vote. These high fees threaten to price people out of participating or otherwise discourage them from showing up to the polls at all. 
  • 83% of Americans believe voting should be as easy as possible and support laws making that access real for all eligible voters, showing how the actions of anti-democracy lawmakers today are deeply out of alignment with the majority of Americans.
  • 70% of respondents support automatic voter registration for every citizen over 18, and 76% of respondents said that every state should offer in-person early voting for several days or weeks prior to election day, including nights and weekends for people who work. Finally, 59% of respondents supported sending a mail ballot to every eligible voter.
  • Election officials and those who hold public office are falling woefully short of their responsibility to protect the right to vote and ensure that decisions made about the voting process do not prevent or discourage people from casting a ballot. 

All Voting is Local compiled this report in collaboration with the independent, nonpartisan research firm Claster Consulting.

The full report can be viewed here.