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Voting rights activists, led by Congressional Black Caucus chair Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), protest recent passage of voter restriction laws at Hart Senate Office Building on July 15, 2021. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Women of color turned out to vote at record rates in the 2020 election, with almost nine in 10 agreeing that the stakes were too high not to vote, according to a new poll.

Why it matters: The findings in the poll, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of a group of reproductive justice organizations, appear to confirm the highly-motivated voting bloc's emerging power.

By the numbers: Eight in 10 women of color voted for Biden in the 2020 election, according to the poll, which surveyed and interviewed 1,617 adult women (18+) in the U.S. who self-identify as Black or African American; of Hispanic, Latina, or Spanish-speaking background; or Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI).

  • The number of Latina and AAPI first-time voters jumped at least seven points since 2018, while Black women had an outsized influence in critical swing states like Georgia, Texas and Florida.
  • Nearly eight in 10 women of color voters polled reported voting early, while 52% voted by mail, ballot drop box or absentee.
  • But two in five women of color voters polled faced challenges while voting last year, an increase of eight points since 2018. About 19% said they were asked to show ID at the polls, 11% saw disinformation on social media and 11% faced long voting lines.
  • Despite these obstacles, nine in 10 first-time voters said they were committed to voting in the next election.

Worth noting: About 57% say they will be watching their elected officials in Congress more closely compared to previous elections.

  • Women of color are more likely to vote for candidates who prioritize ending discrimination, protecting reproductive rights and ensuring access to health insurance.
    • About 79% want their elected officials to understand how white supremacy impacts their lives.
  • "Failure to deliver on the issues that women of color voters care about comes with electoral consequences," the report states.

The big picture: Democrats have attempted to combat the GOP's attacks with federal legislation, but Senate Republicans filibustered Democrats' sweeping voter protections bill in June.

The bottom line: Efforts to enact restrictions "hit us hard," but women of color voters "made clear this last election that they are paying attention and won't be ignored," Marcela Howell, the president and CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda, said in a statement.

Methodologies: Interviews were conducted online and via telephone using live, professional interviewers from April 7 to May 16, 2021. The survey was made available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean or Vietnamese.

  • The data was weighted by region, age, and education to ensure a representative sample of women of color who voted in the 2020 general elections.

Go deeper

10 Black female officers sue D.C. police over alleged discrimination

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ten Black female police officers filed a class-action lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Wednesday, alleging they were discriminated against, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The women said they were subject to a culture of race and sex discrimination, a hostile workplace and retaliation when they complained. They also said that the problems have persisted for more than two decades under at least three police chiefs, per the Washington Post.

Democrats hit GOP over abortion far from Texas

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are trying to attack Republican political candidates over abortion rights far from Texas — including libertarian states like New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: The strategy highlights the national resonance of the new Texas law banning abortions past six weeks. The Democratic Party sees an opening in next year's midterm elections to capitalize on voters’ opposition to it.

Sep 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

First look: The LCV's $4M ad buy

A screenshot from a new League of Conservation Voters ad supporting Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

The League of Conservation Voters and Climate Power are aiming another $4 million worth of ads at centrist House Democrats, urging them to support the climate provisions in President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Progressive groups are trying to counter the onslaught of conservative money pouring into swing districts. Both sides are trying to define Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda and pressure lawmakers to support — or oppose — the legislation scheduled for a vote in the House this week.

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