Don’t forget that the two-party political system is broken and causes voter disillusionment with its winner-take-all approach. And on top of that, we Americans don’t have a culture of civic engagement when it comes to learning what we’re voting for. The majority of voters are a single issue or federal-only voters who are severely under-informed and unengaged in local elections.
We prefer to make it as inconvenient as possible to ensure those with the least means have the hardest time voting. We got rid of property requirements and poll taxes so this is the next best thing we have to ensure our lower classes don’t participate. It’s not terribly sophisticated but it’s remarkably effective.