There's been a huge spike in Democratic voter registration in the epicenter of Black Lives Matter protests

insider@insider.com (Taylor Ardrey)
·3 mins read
People fill out voter registration forms at a memorial site for George Floyd on June 3, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. <p class="copyright">Stephen Maturen/Stringer/Getty Images</p>
People fill out voter registration forms at a memorial site for George Floyd on June 3, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • An analysis from TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, revealed a decline in voter registration during the start of the coronavirus pandemic and an increase in Democrat voter registration following national protests. 

  • The data firm discovered an increase in Democratic voters in protest hot spot, Minnesota, where George Floyd died by police officers on May 25. NBC News reported that protests could be linked to the surge in voter registration.

  • "Despite a full or partial lockdown in large swaths of the country for much of the month, voter registration began to rebound as people took to the streets to protest," the firm wrote in their analysis report.

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Voter registration surged among Democratic voters following national unrest over police brutality, according to an analysis of voter registration data by TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm.

One of the biggest bumps was in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police in May. In the state, Democratic voter registration drastically increased in June, with around 32,000 registrations this year compared to around 17,000 in June 2016.

TargetSmart ran the analysis to discover how recent events "impacted our politics and how will they impact the 2020 elections," according to the firm's website. It shows that registration dipped in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, and rebounded amid the protests.

"Despite a full or partial lockdown in large swaths of the country for much of the month, voter registration began to rebound as people took to the streets to protest," TargetSmart said in its report.

As NBC News pointed out, many of the protests included voter registration efforts, which may have helped drive the surge.

The firm reported that 1.1 million Americans registered to vote in the first two weeks of June compared to 2016 where 1.6 million voters registered for the entire month. Not all states have submitted an update of their voter files, the firm said.

Overall registration still seems to lag because of the coronavirus

Voter registration took a devastating blow at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the analysis. Millions of voters had to juggle the risk of catching the virus or cast their ballots during the primaries earlier this year. 

According to the firm, voter registration saw a dramatic decline as coronavirus paused the country's economy. During March and April of the 2016 presidential election year, 4.7 million Americans were registered to vote. This year, only 3.12 million Americans registered to vote during that same time period. 

The firm also pointed out a decline in May: "In May 2016, nearly 2 million people registered, and over the same period in 2020 just over 900,000 people registered, a 54% decrease," the firm wrote in the report. 

With the coronavirus pandemic, turnout in the 2020 presidential election remains uncertain, though the country is likely to see record mail voting turnout. Democrats are in support of mail-in voting to prevent the spread of coronavirus, while Donald Trump thinks it will be a "nightmare." Still, despite Trump's attacks on mail-in voting, USPS issued a statement to debunk his claims saying they have "ample capacity" to handle the processing if necessary. 

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