It is Harder to Vote in America than it was in 2008
Voting has become more difficult in the last four years, says a new report from the nonprofit voting rights organization Project Vote. Laws Against Voting: State Statutes that Restrict Participation in 2012 shows that state legislatures have passed unnecessary election restrictions that make it harder for all Americans—particularly low-income and minority citizens—to register and vote.
Laws Against Voting presents a clear picture of legislative hurdles to voting in all 50 states, and particularly of the onslaught of harmful election legislation that has swept the nation since 2008. Focusing on four major areas—voter ID, proof-of-citizenship, voter registration, and felon disenfranchisement—the report provides a timely, comprehensive guide to new and existing laws in all 50 states that could have a devastating impact on registration and turnout in November.
“Outmoded, excessively bureaucratic, and often politically motivated, these measures make it harder to vote in America today than at any time in recent decades,” writes report author Erin Ferns Lee.
Laws Against Voting is designed to help all stakeholders navigate these confusing waters. Voters can use the report as a guide on what to look out for when registering or voting in their state; reporters can use it to understand the breadth of voter suppression laws that may affect voters in 2012; and advocates can use it to determine how to plan voter mobilization efforts and monitor potential problems at the polls.
“In 2008, it was all about getting everyone out to vote, but the 2012 election cycle has seen one attempt after another to limit access to the polls, in the form of bad laws, wrongful purges, and attacks on early voting,” said Project Vote Executive Director Michael Slater. “This trend towards voter suppression needs to end, and lawmakers and election officials need to focus their energies instead on making sure all eligible Americans can register, vote, and have their ballots counted.”