Could New Voter ID Laws Really Disenfranchise 10 Million Latinos?


According to the study, purges, registration barriers and photo ID restrictions could impact more Latino citizens than made up the margin of victory in the 2008 presidential election in some states.

"In Colorado, Florida, and Virginia, the number of eligible Latino citizens that could be affected by these barriers exceeds the margin of victory in each of those states during the 2008 presidential election. In Florida, eligible Latino voters amount to nine times the 2008 margin of victory, and unregistered Latinos constitute four times the margin of victory," reads the study.

Getting an ID can also be prohibitively time consuming and expensive, a report by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School notes.

More than 500,000 eligible Latino voters live more than 10 miles from the nearest ID-issuing center that is open more than two days per week, according to the report. Many Latinos hold jobs with inflexible hours, making it impossible to travel to the offices when they're open. And while the IDs themselves are free, obtaining the documentation needed to get one can be expensive.

"Latinos also have one of the highest percentages of poverty of any racial or ethnic group in the United States and are more likely to rely on public transportation, and thus face more difficulty procuring the necessary documentation," reads the report.

And there are bigger problems with voting than registration. From confusing ballots to long polling lines, states from Ohio to New York have set up commissions and studies to figure out how to fix the voting process. The problem, however, is that few of the suggestions have been implemented as a result of partisan bickering and the potential costs of fixing the system.

A recent article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram indicates that the names of around 77,000 Texans appeared on a statewide list suggesting they might be dead and should be removed form voter rolls. The problem? Many were still alive.

And according to the report, "Confusion about proof of citizenship requirements resulted in voters being turned away during Michigan's August 2012 primary elections. After Governor Rick Snyder vetoed legislation that would have required voters to confirm citizenship at the polls, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson added a citizenship confirmation checkbox to ballot applications for the state's August 7, 2012 primary, and some voters were reportedly denied the right to vote for failing to fill out the box."

Michael Waldman, president of the left-leaning Brennan Center, has suggested that states use digital technology to streamline and reduce the costs of registering voters in an accurate way, but there hasn't been much effort by cash-strapped states to implement such technology.

The result is that there is still significant room for error in the upcoming election.

For more information about voter ID laws, go here: - Court rejects Texas voter ID law: It would "impose strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor." - Voter ID laws make voting harder for many Latinos - How the U.S. voting system is preventing people from … voting - No ID? No vote in these 10 states

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