State ID Laws: 10 Million Hispanic Voters Could Be Affected, Study Says

Warren Richey, Christian Science Monitor, September 24, 2012

New restrictive voting laws in 23 states could make it more difficult for a significant number of Latino voters to cast ballots in the November presidential election, according to a new study released on Monday.

Voter ID laws, tougher voter registration requirements, and efforts by state officials to remove noncitizens from their voter rolls could intimidate or deter many Latinos from exercising their right to vote, the report says.

The study, produced by the civil rights group Advancement Project, says there are more than 10 million eligible Latino voters “who could be deterred or prevented from voting in the 2012 elections” because of new voting laws enacted or proposed in 23 states.

The new measures include a photo ID law currently under court review in PennsylvaniaFlorida and Colorado are cited for attempting to remove noncitizens from their voter rolls by comparing information from the state’s driver’s license database with information in a federal immigration database.

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{snip} The report is entitled: “Segregating American Citizenship: Latino Voter Disenfranchisement in 2012.”

“Voter suppression laws and policies threaten to relegate eligible Latino voters to second-class citizenship and impede their ability to participate fully in American democracy,” the report says. “Like African-Americans, Latinos have experienced decreased access and correspondingly lower levels of voter registration and participation than non-Hispanic whites.”

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State officials have defended their new voting laws as legitimate efforts to fortify the election process against fraud. They say photo ID is necessary to travel by jetliner or enter a federal office building. The security of voting is no less important, they say.

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