Photo: Voter ID Laws and Latino Voter
A new study by the ‘Advancement Project’ shows that proposed Voter ID Laws in 23 states stand to deter up to 10 million U.S. Hispanics from registering and voting.
The study called called “Segregating American Citizenship: Latino Voter Disenfranchisement in 2012” finds that 23 states currently have legal barriers that disproportionately impact voter registration and participation by Latino citizens.
In many states, the number of eligible Latino citizens that could be affected by these barriers exceeds the margin of victory of the 2008 presidential election. The study states that “Voter suppression laws and policies threaten to relegate eligible Latino voters to second-class citizenship and impede their ability to participate fully in American democracy.”
Key findings in the study are:
(1) Alleged noncitizen voter purges of registered voters (in 16 states), which target naturalized citizens and may violate equal protection guarantees. Communities of color, specifically Black, Latino and Asian Americans, form a large percentage of naturalized citizens in states pursuing these purges, with Latinos comprising the largest percentage in most.
(2) Proof of citizenship requirements for voter registration (in effect in Georgia, and pending in Alabama and Arizona), which impose onerous and sometimes expensive documentation requirements on prospective voter registrants. These laws target naturalized citizens, many of whom are Latino.
(3) Restrictive photo ID laws in 9 states, which similarly impose costs in time and money for millions of Latino citizens who do not have the required documents.