As Many As 5 Million Voters Disenfranchised By Voter ID Laws

According to a study done by the Brennan Center For Justice, as many as 5 million voters will be disenfranchised by Voter ID laws passed in Republican states. These new restrictions fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income

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According to a study done by the Brennan Center For Justice, as many as 5 million voters will be disenfranchised by Voter ID laws passed in Republican states.

These new restrictions fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities. This wave of changes may sharply tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election. Based on the Brennan Center’s analysis of the 19 laws and two executive actions that passed in 14 states, it is clear that:

  • These new laws could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.
  • The states that have already cut back on voting rights will provide 171 electoral votes in 2012 – 63 percent of the 270 needed to win the presidency.
  • Of the 12 likely battleground states, as assessed by an August Los Angeles Times analysis of Gallup polling, five have already cut back on voting rights (and may pass additional restrictive legislation), and two more are currently considering new restrictions.

States have changed their laws so rapidly that no single analysis has assessed the overall impact of such moves. Although it is too early to quantify how the changes will impact voter turnout, they will be a hindrance to many voters at a time when the United States continues to turn out less than two thirds of its eligible citizens in presidential elections and less than half in midterm elections.

South Carolina is one of the worst offenders already, and they are still implementing the law. Via Chron.com:

Under the new law, people have to present photographic identification at precinct polling places to cast regular ballots. The data crunching is important because it will be used to reach out to voters to make sure they know about the change, an issue the U.S. Justice Department is concerned about as it reviews the law.

There's enough question about the data that the state on Friday delayed filing responses to the U.S. Justice Department's questions about the new voter ID law, Deputy Attorney General Bryan Stirling said.

"We obviously need to analyze their processes and their methods," Stirling said.

Earlier this week, the Election Commission said nearly 217,000 registered voters in the state lack a state driver's license or photo ID. That already was nearly 40,000 more than the election agency had previously estimated.

Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said data used to match state driver's license and identification card data excluded about 117,000 inactive voters. That figure includes a mix of people who had died, moved, been convicted of crimes that suspend their voting rights or hadn't voted since 2006.

As you'll see from the article, it's actually even more when the DMV reports in.

The video at the top is a case Al Sharpton reported on last week in South Carolina. I encourage you to watch the whole thing. What's so insidious about these laws is how impossible they make it for the elderly, people of color, the poor and others to actually vote! No matter how much the man tried to comply, they made sure it was impossible for him to get an ID card in South Carolina, despite the fact that he was a government employee and has documents going all the way back to middle school to prove he was born in the US.

Should I also remind everyone that voter fraud is a Republican crime? Why yes, I should.

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