14 states will have new voting restrictions in place for the presidential election in November.
New rules, like forcing voters to produce ID at the polls or restricting early voting, are being implemented for the first time since 2013, when the Supreme Court gutted Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which was set up to ensure minority voters have the same voting rights as any other citizens.
Many of these rules are being implemented in states that lean to the right and have increasing numbers of black and Hispanic voters in recent elections, groups that are most at risk of disenfranchisement over voting restrictions, according to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan public policy institute.
Despite Donald Trump’s claims that the election will be “rigged," evidence for voter fraud is actually scarce. Most fraud in elections is due to clerical errors and typos, rather than anything nefarious like voter impersonation, according to the Brennan Center.
A News21 analysis found in 2012 that out of the 146 million voters who registered to vote, there were only 10 cases of voter impersonation between 2000 and 2012.
Many say that the new laws unfairly target minority and immigrant groups. For example, a federal judge called on the state of Wisconsin to investigate claims that officials at the Department of Motor Vehicles were systematically denying people the documents they need to vote in November, in an effort to disenfranchise black voters.
"No eligible American should lose their right to vote because they don’t have a photo ID," Myrna Perez, the deputy director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program told Business Insider. ”And it’s clear that the strictest of these laws are targeting certain groups.“
A new report from the Williams Institute found that around 34,000 transgender voters will be effectively blocked from voting in states that require photo IDs, because the IDs will reflect the wrong gender.
In Virginia, a crucial swing-state, there is an ongoing battle to restore voting rights to around 200,000 felons.
"Voting is the most fundamental right in our democracy, and we shouldn’t pass laws that prevent people from having their voice heard,” Perez said.
See the 14 states with new voting restriction laws in place for the 2016 presidential election below»
Alabama will require photo ID for all voters in November, including a driver’s license, US passport, or state ID. Alabama’s law was passed through a Republican-controlled legislature in 2011.
Alabama also passed a law requiring voters to provide a proof of citizenship to vote in 2011 — but the law is subject to ongoing litigation.
Arizona implemented limits on mail-in ballot collection. It’s now a felony to collect and turn-in another voter’s ballot — even with the person’s permission.
Arizona’s law was passed in 2016 and signed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey.
In 2013, Governor Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate on the Republican ticket, approved a law that allows additional “party-nominated” officials to ask for voters’ proof-of-identification.
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