Voting rights

Beto O'Rourke releases voting rights reform plan

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke speaks during Day 2 of the California Democratic Party Convention at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, June 1, 2019.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke. Photo: Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

2020 Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke released a voting rights and democracy reform plan on June 5, with the goal of registering more than 50 million voters and ensuring that 35 million more votes are cast in 2024.

Why it matters: Voter turnout is traditionally low in the U.S. Before 2018, turnout rates for midterms since 1974 had languished around 40% to 41%. Turnout in the 2016 presidential election was 60%, per Axios' Alexi McCammond. O'Rourke wants to increase the national voter turnout to 65% with initiatives such as tackling voter restrictions.

Florida judge protects Spanish speakers voter rights

Voting place
Photo: Hill Street Studios/Getty Images

A Florida judge has ordered that 32 of 67 counties in the state are required to provide election materials and assistance to Spanish-speaking voters ahead of the 2020 presidential primaries.

Why this matters: This is a milestone win for voting rights groups in Florida. The state is trying to make it harder for felons who have completed their sentences to vote, even though a resolution passed with majority support in the 2018 midterm elections.