Voting rights, voting wrongs

Strict rules on voting could determine the outcome of Novemberís election

Published: Monday, July 16 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Our take: Many states are seeking to make it a little more difficult to make it to the polls this November by legislating certain photo ID requirements for voters. This article by The Economist postulates that these requirements might affect the coming presidential election.

Nine of the 11 states that have passed voter-ID laws since the 2010 elections have Republican governors. So has Florida, which has not only tried to restrict voter-registration drives but also limited early voting and sought to purge ineligible voters from its rolls, using a list full of errors (that effort has been suspended). The House majority leader in Pennsylvania, where a voter-ID law went into effect in March, crowed in June that the new law "is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania."

Of course, not all the states that passed voter-ID laws in their latest legislative session will see them take effect by November. In Rhode Island, voters will be able to prove their identity by using a birth certificate, Social Security card or government-issued medical card, none of which have photos, until 2014. And six others, Alabama, Mississippi, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, are subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act because of their history of barring minorities from voting.

Read more about Voting on The Economist.

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