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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

GOP-Backed Voting Laws Target And Hurt Young Minority Voters

GOP-Backed Voting Laws Target And Hurt Young Minority Voters

A new report released by the Advancement Project  highlights the numerous ways “young voters of color” are affected by restrictive voting laws that have been adopted by Republicans in several states across the nation.

The millennial generation, which is now between 18 and 29 years of age, is significantly more racially diverse than prior generations. Thus, the report explains, laws that suppress the youth vote also suppress voters of color. Restrictive laws affect particular demographics – in this case, young African-American and Latino voters – in different ways; some produce abnormally long lines on which voters must wait just to vote, while others implement barriers to actually getting to the polls.

On Election Day 2012, polling places in Florida counties with especially high numbers of minority youth voters closed on average 86 minutes after the 7 p.m. closing time, as a result of long lines. The obvious danger is that this will discourage young voters from voting. Others may “not be able to wait many hours to vote in future elections.”

A similar situation also occurred in Pennsylvania during the 2008 presidential election. Though local election officials petitioned for a larger polling space to cover the Lincoln University – a historically black university – district, the state’s Chester County Board of Elections denied the request, forcing voters to endure 6- to 8-hour wait times in the original “inadequately sized polling location.”

Also in Pennsylvania, and other states such as Texas, strict photo ID requirements directly affect specific groups’ ability to vote. A survey included in the report compares the disproportionately implemented voter ID requirements in both states to states without such laws. In states without voter ID laws, 65.5 percent of young black voters and 55.3 percent of young Latino voters were asked to present photo identification – a significantly greater share than the 42.8 percent of young white voters asked to present the same form of ID. In states with voter ID laws, however, 84.3 percent of young white voters were asked to produce specific photo ID, as opposed to 81.8 percent of young Latino voters asked to do the same.

An even greater 94.3 percent of young black voters were asked to present ID.

Strict photo ID laws – which typically require a voter to present a state-issued driver’s license or non-driver ID – account for why 17.3 percent of young black voters and 8.1 percent of young Latino voters could not vote in the 2012 presidential election. Fewer than 5 percent of young white voters were not able to vote for the same reason.

The measure is especially effective because many young voters in general don’t have a driver’s license. Even those who do, but attend an out-of-state college, do not have a state-issued driver’s license, and obtaining a standard state-issued photo ID usually requires a birth certificate – an obstacle that makes it more difficult for young voters. Furthermore, a larger percentage of young white voters have different forms of ID than young black and Latino voters. The report also mentions that several states – including Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas and Pennsylvania, among others – have even attempted to ban student photo IDs as voter identification.

In North Carolina, however, specific photo ID requirements are not the sole legislation hurting young minority voters; in August 2013, Governor Pat McCrory signed into law a ban on same-day voter registration during early voting – the law also decreases the early voting period by a week. Among other provisions, the law also eliminates pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds and a state mandate for voter registration in high schools. In October, a Republican precinct chair from Buncombe County, North Carolina, Don Yelton, admitted that the legislation hindered African-Americans’ and college students’ ability to vote.

According to Yelton, both demographics were targeted because they tend to vote Democratic.

These types of restrictive laws are only gaining more traction since June, when the Supreme Court struck down a crucial provision of the Voting Rights Act that required specific states known for passing discriminatory voting laws to first get “pre-clearance” from the federal government in order to change their voting laws.

The Advancement Project warns that “attacks on young voters” are “ongoing” and “threatening the voting rights of many across the country for future elections.”

The report also recommends “policy-makers and election officials…concentrate on positive measures that would help alleviate the woefully low percentage of voter participation rates seen…especially among young people, who are our future.” Besides eliminating laws that implement strict ID requirements, ban same-day voter registration and shorten early voting periods, the Advancement Project also suggests nationwide implementation of online voter registration, “uniform standards” for voting machines and poll workers, and institutionalizing voter registration.

Lastly, the report adds: “Congress must act immediately to update the Voting Rights Act.”

The problem, however, is not that politicians are unaware of how to increase voter turnout, but that there are many lawmakers who support these restrictive laws because they benefit their party.

Photo: SEIU International via Flickr


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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Wait. You mean to say that an inner city kid without a drivers license can’t be allowed to vote because he had no way to get to a DMV office to get an official photo id? His School ID doesn’t count?

  • charleo1

    I think Republicans would probably rather the entire Country just dispense with voting altogether. Because purging voter rolls, and requiring new forms of ID. while rejecting other forms that used to work. Cutting back on the number of early voting days, and closing some polling sites, especially near minority neighborhoods, gerrymandering districts, and having an unlimited supply of dark money to fund lavish campaigns, only takes you so far. It still leaves far too many Republicans,
    way too accountable. And, although this voter suppression stuff is very effective
    in skewing the vote for State Legislature Seats, and sending Congressional Representatives to Washington, from those custom, made to order districts. Statewide elections for Senators, and Governorships, are by their nature, just harder to fix. For one thing, even with all our suppressors in place, the turnouts for these races, where we have so many people voting, have just been a nightmare to rig. Efforts to secretly fund a third candidate, and run an Independent, to split the Democratic vote, have been lees than stellar. In fact, we got caught in Miami doing this, and it was a mess. The Fed. elections guys got wind of it, and our Ringer came apart like a cheap suit, and started singing like a canary. So, not only did we lose the election, but now our guy is being called up on election fraud charges! And, he was already under investigation for the $150,000 in “consulting fees,” paid to his
    Mother, by a gambling outfit. Claims he knew nothing about it. He is also claiming
    he was abandoned at birth, and grew up in an orphanage. There is one thing we’re
    working on. See, the Founding Fathers, in their remarkable wisdom, and incredible
    foresight, anticipated a major Party in the future would find itself in such deep do-do,
    they couldn’t give away ice water to people burning in Hell. So it turns out, that we may be able to get rid of the Senate races altogether, and have them appointed by the State. States Rights! Now, and forever! Now wouldn’t that be sweet?

    • Bill Thompson

      Having had the opportunity (not the privilege) to listen to and justice Scalia speak at my sons graduation ceremony from Rensselaer polytechnical Institute RPI regarding the 17th amendment. He would love nothing more than to see this amendment disappear, as a matter of fact he was advocating for the easing of the requirements to make a constitutional amendment.

      Regarding voter fraud there has been an extensive study done by NYU. Please read the link below it is quite lengthy but worth reading. While they have been isolated instances of voter fraud it does not demand the actions that of been taken by Republican dominated states.

      • Annemb

        A wonderful and informative post!



      • charleo1

        Thanks Bill. A great link to a very comprehensive report on the
        new voter registration requirements, across our Country. I would recommend all to give this report a few moments of your time.

      • idamag

        The real voter fraud is in the purging.

    • angelsinca

      Here’s your tin foil hat, Chuck. Apparently, despite the supposed onerousness of the new voter ID laws in Texas, the voter turnout there nearly doubled from the prior year. This tragic lack of voter supression can’t be blamed on the Black Panthers this time.

  • roguerunners

    I have said it before and I’ll say it again…Follow Oregon’s lead! All Voting is by mail. Problem solved.

    • plc97477

      It works in Oregon only because we have an honest government. I could see problems in states with crooks in charge.

  • Annemb

    Is this not unconstitutional? And why haven’t been served and indicted yet?

  • idamag

    I couldn’t believe it happened in my state. Idaho is one of the reddest and has their hand out for more than they pay in. There is no reason for them to do any purging. If a crook runs on the Republican ticket, he is sure to get in. It has happened. We have a legislator that has been arrested for rape twice. He got off, but he shouldn’t have been on any ticket. We had one years ago, George Hansen, who was caught doing a ponzi scheme and bilking people out of millions. He went to prison and people still wrote in to vote for him. A member of my community went to vote. He was told he was not on the voter rolls. We have same day registration at the polling place. He went to the same day registration and tried to re-register. They told him his address did not match his former registration (go figure). He said he had voted for 17 years in that same polling place.It should worry people and make them angry that our constitutional right to vote is being tampered with.

    • Annemb

      A high price to pay for democracy.

  • latebloomingrandma

    If our country ever wanted to spend money on improving things, like we did long ago, I can forsee that to register and log in to vote you would electronically use your fingerprint. No more “dead people voting” and no voting twice, (We have to get the ACA website running first. 🙂

  • Allan Richardson

    The only way to stop voter suppression is a market based approach: a Constitutional Amendment placing a monetary value on every legitimate voter’s right to vote, such that any denial of registration or ballot access that turns out after an election to have been in error, whether deliberately or accidentally caused by the state, makes that qualified but suppressed voter eligible for automatic MONETARY DAMAGES OF $100,000 PER ELECTION. Let them run up a billion dollar deficit for every 10,000 votes they block, then explain THAT to the voters who DID vote for them the last time. And at the same time, give some poverty relief and stimulus money to low income neighborhoods.

    If you like this idea, forward it to the White House, your local newspaper, and your Senators and Representatives and state legislators.

    • idamag

      That is exactly what I would propose.

  • mandinka

    The new ID laws only have an impact on illegals trying to vote absentee. Over 4 million illegals voted in the 2012 presidential and was the reason why Barak was reelected.

    • George D

      Out and out lie… such thing happened….phoney liar!

    • charleo1

      Now see what you’ve done? Your credibility was already on thin ice.

    • Bryan Blake

      mandinka you are such a sniveling little liar. You do not have the courage to post your real name nor picture. My name is Bryan Blake and I stand by every word I write. Furthermore I will admit to making a wrong statement in a post. Like most conservatives you pick the easy/others to target in the dissemination of your bigotry/hate and downright xenophobia. Besides our country has an over 400 years long history of illegal immigration. My and probably your ancestors arrived here without invitation with the express purpose of stealing the lands of the Native Americans and claiming their lands as our own. On my mother’s side one branch fled the brutality of the Kaiser’s Germany. They faced occasional attacks by Native Americans as they began to farm in Texas.

      Your are a pathetic little bigot. Your post does not deserve a serious response. But I am tired of you and your lies.

      Where are your FACTS? What is is the source of your statement that “Over 4 million illegals voted in the 2012 presidential and was the reason why Barak was reelected.”?

      Don’t bother I already know the answer! The vast right wind colon chamber.

  • Benjamin Dover

    Even with civilization’s advance, we have retained the instinct of mass action that typically results from the effects of crowd psychology.