Election 2016: Republican vote suppression tactic takes hold | Arkansas Blog

Monday, May 2, 2016

Election 2016: Republican vote suppression tactic takes hold

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2016 at 7:19 AM

The New York Times rounds up how candidates are responding to the spread of voter ID laws across the U.S. — a strategy by the Republican Party to suppress votes among poor and minority groups that tend to favor Democratic candidates.

Thirty-three states now have ID laws, at least 17 of them — including Texas — requiring not just written proof of identity, but requiring or requesting a photograph as well.

Most research suggests that the laws result in few people being turned away at the polls. But a study of the Texas ID requirement by Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy released in August found that many more qualified voters, confused or intimidated by the new rules, have not tried to vote at all.

“What voters hear is that you need to have an ID,” said Mark P. Jones of the Baker Institute, an author of the study. “But they don’t get the second part that says if you have one of these types of IDs, you’re O.K.”

A second study, by the University of California, San Diego, concluded in February that the strictest voter ID laws — those that require an identity card with a photograph — disproportionately affect minority voters.

Candidates are trying to inform voters to get them to turn out. 

Good news in Arkansas, for once. Thanks to our Constitution's prohibition about adding new requirements to voting rules, a Republican law aimed at vote suppression in Arkansas was struck down by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

The article notes previous findings that the supposed voter fraud that ID laws are supposed to stop is virtually non-existent. It also shows that voters forced to cast provisional ballots when lacking acceptable ID at polls rarely go back to an election office to verify ID to get the vote counted.

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