New State Voter Laws Could Disenfranchise 5 Million in 2012 Elections
1 year ago
Brennan Center for Justice examines state laws that threaten to suppress votes
The 2008 historic election that placed Barack Obama in the White House was made possible in part by an unprecedented growth in voter turnout, especially from constituencies typically known for low turnout on Election Day. The progress made in '08 however is in many ways being dialed back by states that have passed laws, or are in the process of passing laws that will make it difficult for elders, young people, minorities, and ex-felons to vote in next year's presidential elections. The Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan public policy think-tank based in New York, examines election laws passed by states since 2008 that significantly reduce the voter potential of the electorate for 2012. Close to five million eligible voters could find it hard to get their vote in for their President due to these laws, according to the Brennan report. Of the states that have reduced voting rights through laws that require photo identification, ban voter registration drives, and for voters to prove that they're citizens, 171 electoral college votes are riding in those states. And of 12 battleground states in the 2012 elections, five have restricted voter rights, finds the Brennan report.
Among the other findings:
- 3.2 million voters could be hampered from voting due to the new photo id laws in certain states
- As many as 240,000 voters could be deterred by laws requiring proof of citizenship
- Between one and two million voters could lose out on chances to vote due to new laws that shorten early voting periods
Read more about it in this New York Times article here.