The nationwide push to make it harder to vote began in earnest after the 2010 election, when Republicans gained control of an unprecedented number of states. Their goal was to make the electorate older, whiter and more conservative compared with the younger and more diverse electorate that turned out in record numbers for Barack Obama in 2008.
Although the connection isn't obvious to everyone, these voting restrictions disproportionately affect the core of Obama's political coalition, including young people (some states exclude student IDs from the list of acceptable documents) and minority voters (who are more likely to vote early and less likely than whites to have state-issued IDs). A new study by political scientists at UC San Diego found that “a strict ID law could be expected to depress Latino turnout by 9.3 points, Black turnout by 8.6 points, and Asian American turnout by 12.5 points.” ...
[I]t's not just former Confederate states that have moved to gum up the democratic process. New Hampshire, which will hold its primary on Tuesday, has a new voter ID law on the books. Those without the required ID can still cast a regular ballot by signing an affidavit, but they will have to let poll workers take their pictures, which could lead to voter intimidation and longer lines at the polls. Wait times increased by 50% when the voter ID law was partially implemented, without the camera requirement, during the 2012 election.
A federal elections official has decided – without public notice or review from his agency’s commissioners – that residents of Alabama, Kansas and Georgia can no longer register to vote using a federal form without providing proof of U.S. citizenship. ...
Under the new rule, any resident in those states who registers to vote using the federal form must show citizenship documentation – such as a birth certificate, naturalization papers or passport. In other states, no such documentation is needed to register; voters need only sign a sworn statement. ...
Kansas already had moved ahead with a dual voter-registration system, banning those who registered through the federal form from voting in state and local races. A state court recently ruled Kobach did not have the legislative authority to create such a dual system, but Kobach said Thursday that it’s now a moot point.
Alabama was waiting for EAC guidance to implement a proof-of-citizenship requirement because of questions of authority, state Elections Director Ed Packard said Thursday. He noted that it’s unclear how soon the new rule will be implemented, or what effect it might have. ...
Georgia hasn’t implemented proof-of-citizenship requirements, and has put no restrictions on voters who register through federal forms, said David Dove, a spokesman for Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
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Pro-voting activist and Rock the Vote alum John Legend continues the fight for voting rights.
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Hip-hop legend Run-D.M.C.'s Darryl McDaniels performs at Rock the Vote's 25th Anniversary #TBT Throwback Concert.