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Five million voters could be affected by US voting laws


Summary of story from New York Times, October 2, 2011

A new study has estimated that around five million voters could face difficulty in voting in the US 2012 election.

The report published on Monday by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law has analyzed 19 laws and two executive orders in 14 states this year, and concluded that they “could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.”

Republicans, who have passed almost all of the new election laws, say they are necessary to prevent voter fraud, and question why photo identification should be routinely required at airports but not at polling sites.

Democrats counter that the new laws are a solution in search of a problem, since voter fraud is rare. They worry that the laws will discourage, or even block, eligible voters — especially poor voters, young voters and African-American voters, who tend to vote for Democrats.

The Brennan Center estimates that 11 percent of potential voters do not have state-issued photo identification and called it the “most significant rollback in voting rights in decades.”

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