Study predicts voting laws will change political landscape

October 13th, 2011

The Washington Post
By Krissah Thompson
Oct 3, 2011

More than 5 million voters could be affected by recent changes to state voting laws as the nation prepares for next year’s presidential election, according to a study released Monday.

The report by the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice analyzed 19 laws and two executive orders that were issued in 14 states this year in an attempt to measure their impact on individuals.

“In two out of the last three presidential elections, 5 million voters is considerably more than the margin in two out of the last three presidential elections,” said Michael Waldman, executive director of the Brennan Center. “These kinds of rules matter enormously. If this is a close election, as it may well be, these voting rules can turn out to be quite significant.”

The center opposes the new laws and one of the researchers involved with the report called them “wholly unnecessary.”

Researchers found 3.2 million people in Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin do not have the state-issued identification that will now be required to vote. In addition, more than a million people cast ballots in 2008 during the early voting time periods that have been eliminated in Florida, Georgia and Ohio. Others voters will be impacted by tougher voting restrictions for convicted felons and laws requiring additional proof of citizenship.

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