The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund released a new policy paper that assessed the potential impact of voting laws on the Latino electorate.
While Latino turnout is poised to reach historic heights this November, more than 12.2 million Latinos are expected to cast ballots, Latino voters are still facing significant obstacles. In recent years, these obstacles have taken the form of restrictive state voting laws and procedures that make it harder for Latino voters to cast ballots.
More than one million Latinos could be negatively impacted in 2012 and beyond by restrictive voting laws.
States’ efforts to restrain registration and voting opportunities and to institute checks of voters’ qualifications may make it difficult for more than 219,000 Latino voters nationwide to cast ballot on Election Day this year. Although, restrictive voting law initiatives are successfully being challenged in court there is still the possibility that these laws, which will negatively affect Latino voters, may go into effect in 2013 and beyond. If these state voting laws go into effect more than 835,000 Latinos could be impacted.
As the Latino electorate grows States’ increasingly have begun requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification when voting in person and proof of citizenship when registering to vote. Latino voters disproportionately lack these materials, and have challenges that make obtaining them difficult or impossible.
States have also begun restricting early voting periods and community-based registration drives, which have been used more heavily by Latino voters than by other groups of Americans.