Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The War On Voting Quantified

I previously wrote about the unprecedented Republican plan to prevent millions of potential Democratic voters from casting a ballot in the 2012 presidential election.

How many votes?  The Brennan Center For Justice just released a study that found new voting restrictions passed thus far could affect more than five million voters, and that those most likely to be affected are "minorities, poor and young voters," i.e., those who usually vote Democratic. 

And the impact on the 2012 presidential election?  The study showed that:
  • The states that have already cut back on voting rights will provide 171 electoral votes in 2012—63 percent of the 270 needed to win the presidency.
  • Of the 12 battleground states identified by an August Los Angeles Times analysis of Gallup polling, five have already cut back on voting rights (and may pass additional restrictive legislation), and two more are currently considering cutbacks.
Last week President Obama denounced the new laws and said that he was making sure the "Justice Department is taking a look at what’s being done across the country to ensure that people aren’t being denied access to the franchise."

Ari Berman recently wrote that there were positive signs that this was happening:  "Career lawyers in the civil rights division of the Justice Department, who were frequently sidelined and overruled during the Bush Administration, are reasserting their authority and independence under Obama."

Let's hope so.  As Berman stated, "they may be the only ones who can halt the GOP’s war on voting."


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