October 30, 2023 News & Press Releases

Racially Disparate Impact: Absentee Ballot Rejections Harm Voters of Color in Virginia

by Democratic Party of Virginia

RICHMOND, VA – A recent, internal, precinct-level analysis of rejected mail ballots has exposed a troubling pattern in absentee ballot rejections, revealing a disproportionate impact on voters of color. As of October 27, Black voters face double the rejection rate (5.2%) compared to white voters (2.5%), with specific localities like Henrico County and Newport News experiencing even higher disparities.

This racial discrepancy extends to Latino and AAPI voters, with rejection rates of 3.4% and 3.2%, respectively. These alarming figures demonstrate the need for the Department of Elections and local election officials to take seriously their obligations to inform voters of their ability to correct their absentee ballot as soon as possible. 

Aaron Mukerjee, Voter Protection Director for the Democratic Party of Virginia, emphasizes the implications of these findings: “Black Virginians’ ballots are being rejected at twice the rate of those of white voters. This is unacceptable, and raises the stakes for election officials to get this right. Every Virginian has a constitutional right to vote and have that ballot counted. That means taking the ballot cure process seriously. We cannot allow barriers to undermine the fundamental right to vote for communities of color. We stand ready to help eligible voters cast their ballot.”

The Democratic Party operates a Voter Protection Hotline at 844-482-8683 to help eligible Virginians cast their ballot and answer questions from voters.