In all, voters in 15 states are facing an array of stricter voting rules in a major election for the first time this year, according to a new report, “The State of Voting in 2014,” to be released Tuesday by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. The laws in six of those states are being challenged in court.
Since 2010, 22 states, nearly all of them in the South and the Midwest, have rolled out new restrictions.
Legal experts say challenges to the laws are having some success because states have provided courts with little proof of in-person voter fraud, which is the rationale for many of the laws. At the same time, it has become clearer that the laws disproportionately affect minorities and the poor, allowing Democrats to argue that they were passed to hinder Democratic voters.
Of the 11 states with the highest black turnout rate in 2008, seven have new restrictions in place, and of the dozen states with the largest growth in Hispanic population from 2000 to 2010, nine passed laws making it harder to vote, according to the Brennan Center report.
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