A spate of photo-ID laws passed by right-wing legislatures in the past few years is threatening the ability of even registered voters to cast their ballots. Many people think, “What’s the big deal? Everybody has ID.” Well, it’s not that simple.
New laws that have strict requirements for state-issued photo ID disproportionately affect blacks, Latinos, the elderly, the young and the disabled — demographics that turned out in record numbers in 2008 and overwhelmingly voted Democratic. For many people, the barriers are almost insurmountable. Elderly African Americans born during the era of segregation, for example, were often born at home and not issued the birth certificates now required in most states to get a state-issued photo ID. In Texas 600,000 registered voters lack the required state-issued photo ID to vote. In the United States as a whole, 21 million Americans don’t have state-issued photo ID.
The voter-ID proposals in 38 states are all patterned on a template developed by the right-wing group ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council), which is funded by conservative activists and oil billionaires David and Charles Koch, who have backed an agenda of resegregating schools, eliminating environmental safeguards and other right-wing policies.
Click here to check the status of your state’s voter i.d. requirements
Filed Under: Politics
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