Tuesday, March 12, 2013

GOP Backed Voter ID Laws Hurt Young, Minorities

A new study confirms what we all probably already knew: the GOP back voter ID laws are hurting the voting rights of minority voters and younger voters, two demographics that tend to vote against the GOP's increasingly pro-wealthy, racist and anti-modernity policies.  Obviously, the GOP approach is one of rather than embracing policies that are widely popular, the party wants to disenfranchise voters that disagree with its Christofascist and Tea Party platform.  A piece in Politico looks at the study findings:

As a handful of state legislatures around the country consider enacting stricter voter ID laws, a new study finds that young people – and especially young minorities – are disproportionately affected by those laws when they go into effect.

According to the study, previewed before its release to POLITICO, significantly more minority youths age 18-29 were asked to show identification than white youth: 72.9 percent of black youth were asked for ID, compared with 60.8 percent of Latino youth and 50.8 percent of white youth.

And for many young minority youths, even the concept of a required ID was a primary reason they didn’t go to the polls last year: 17.3 percent of black youth and 8.1 percent of Latino youth said their lack of adequate ID kept them from voting, compared with just 4.7 percent of white youth..

The study was co-authored by Cathy J. Cohen of the University of Chicago and Jon C. Rogowski of Washington University in St. Louis.

“The effort to protect the vote doesn’t make sense and it’s largely discriminatory, impacting we know, young people in particular, young people of color, the poor and the elderly,” Cohen said.

This year, ten states have either already considered new voter ID measures or are planning to take up the issue in an upcoming legislative session. States with new legislation on the table include Alaska, Arkansas, New York, North Carolina, Missouri, Montana, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. All of the bills would require voters to present some kind of government-issued photo ID in order to vote.

Opponents of such laws have raised this very point: that they make it more difficult for certain subsections of the electorate, particularly young people, the elderly and minorities, to cast their ballot.

The research is also significant in light of the Supreme Court’s impending decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which examines the constitutionality of one part of the Voting Rights Act. The part of the VRA in question, Section 5, requires parts or all of 16 states with a history of discriminatory laws to submit any voting law changes – including voter ID laws – to the Department of Justice for pre-clearance.
As noted before, the racism of the Republican Party is becoming so blatant, including here in Virginia, I can't help but wonder how soon it will be before white robes and hoods are handed out to city and county committee members as they enter into their monthly meetings.

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