WASHINGTON (AP) — Heading into this year’s midterms, voting rights groups were concerned that restrictions in Republican-leaning states triggered by false claims surrounding the 2020 election might jeopardize access to the ballot box for many voters.
Those worries did not appear to come true. There have been no widespread reports of voters being turned away at the polls, and turnout, while down from the last midterm cycle four years ago, appeared robust in Georgia, a state with hotly competitive contests for governor and U.S. Senate.
The lack of broad disenfranchisement isn’t necessarily a sign that everyone who wanted to vote could; there’s no good way to tell why certain voters didn’t cast a ballot.
Voter advocacy groups promoted voter education campaigns and modified voting strategies as a way to reduce confusion and get as many voters to cast a ballot as possible.
“We in the voting rights community in Texas were fearing the worst,” said Anthony Gutierrez, director of Common Cause Texas, on Wednesday. “For the most part, it didn’t happen.”
False claims that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump undermined public confidence in elections and prompted Republican officials to pass new voting laws. The restrictions included tougher ID requirements for mail voting, shortening the period for applying for and returning a mailed ballot, and limiting early voting days and access to ballot drop boxes.