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Monday, March 25, 2013

Voter ID laws created big hurdles for minority youth voters in 2012

Washington University in St. Louis:

At polling places across America in November 2012, Latinos and African Americans under age 30 were disproportionately asked for identification, even in states that do not have voter ID laws, according to a post-election analysis by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago.

“Our study shows that voter ID laws have disproportionately severe consequences for youth of color,” says co-author Jon C. Rogowski, PhD, assistant professor of political science in Arts & Sciences at Washington University.

“Whether the biases are conscious or unconscious, the result of these laws is that people of color are effectively being disenfranchised. Our nation has an obligation to ensure that everyone has equal access to the voting booth.”

The study, released this week by the Black Youth Project, is co-authored by Cathy Cohen, PhD, the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago.

The study,Black and Latino Youth Disproportionately Affected by Voter Identification Laws in the 2012 Election, offers a summary of minority voter experiences in each state that has some form of voter identification law. 

The study found:

  • Nearly three-quarters (72.3 percent) of young Black voters were asked for some form of identification, compared with 50.8 percent of young white voters and 60.8 percent of young Latino voters.
  • Young Black (64.5 percent) and Latino (57.0 percent) voters were considerably more likely to be asked to show photo identification to vote compared to young white voters (42.2 percent).
  • Nearly two-thirds (65.5 percent) of Black youth were asked to show identification in states without ID requirements, compared with 55.3 percent of Latino youth and 42.8 percent of white youth.
  • In states with voter identification laws, higher percentages of Black youth (94.3 percent) were asked for ID compared with Latino (81.8 percent) and white (84.3 percent) youth.

Voter ID and other Republican voter suppression laws are racist — period, end of story. And for those of you who argue that your vote doesn’t matter, consider this: if that were true, why would Republicans be so intent on taking your vote away from you? Hell, they want to make it harder to vote than to buy a carload of assault weapons and ammo. That’s how dangerous your vote is to them.

These laws need to be repealed at the earliest opportunity. They’re merely attempts to steal elections.

[photo via Wikimedia Commons]

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