Sad that so many in the land of the free who should not have their right to vote hindered, are finding they are being taken off voter roles. So many fought for the right they have to vote, and it makes a mockery of what this country stands for. The worst thing, these people doing the purge are using scare tactics about voter fraud…something that is not a real problem…to get these purges pushed through. Hugs
Study: 500,000 face major challenges with voter-ID laws
Updated: 3:55 p.m.
A survey of 10 states that require people to show government-issued photo IDs to vote finds many voters could face transportation and financial challenges in obtaining the proper identification.
The study, published today by the Brennan Center of Justice at the New York University School of Law, notes that nearly 500,000 eligible voters in those states without IDs do not have access to a vehicle and live more than 10 miles from the nearest state ID-issuing office. [The Brennan Center only counted ID offices that are open more than two days per week.]
The finding bolsters U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s argument that the new tougher restrictions would require some voters — disproportionately minorities — to travel great distances and struggle to pay for necessary documents to obtain the IDs.
“In our efforts to protect voting rights and to prevent voting fraud, we will be vigilant and strong,” Holder told the NAACP recently. “But let me be clear: we will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”
Tougher voter-ID laws in the 10 states have become a central issue ahead of the November elections with opponents arguing that the laws disproportionately affect African Americans, Latinos and young voters — all critical members of President Obama’s base.
Republican Mitt Romney has said that he supports tougher voter-ID restrictions as a way to prevent fraud.
The Justice Department has been sued by the states of Texas and South Carolina for blocking implementation of their voter-ID laws. The Texas case was heard last week, and the three-judge panel is now deliberating. The South Carolina case is expected to go to trial in August.
About 10% of Americans who are eligible to vote don’t have government-issued photo IDs — including 25% percent of African Americans, according to the Brennan Center.
Among the Brennan Center’s other findings:
- More than 1 million eligible voters in the 10 states fall below the federal poverty line and live more than 10 miles from their nearest ID-issuing office. These voters may be particularly affected by the significant costs of the documentation required to obtain a photo ID. Birth certificates can cost between $8 and $25 in the states. Marriage licenses, required for married women whose birth certificates include a maiden name, can cost between $8 and $20. The study notes that the poll tax — outlawed during the civil rights era — cost the equivalent of $10.64 in current dollars.
- More than 10 million eligible voters live more than 10 miles from their nearest state ID-issuing office.
- 1.2 million eligible black voters and 500,000 eligible Hispanic voters live more than 10 miles from their nearest ID-issuing office. People of color are more likely to be disenfranchised by these laws since they are less likely to have photo ID than the general population.