IDville Blog | Voter ID laws threaten to disenfranchise Latinos, advocacy says

Voter ID laws threaten to disenfranchise Latinos, advocacy says

by Admin 25. September 2012 11:19

The controversial voter ID law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania could suppress the ballots of as many as 52,000 Latino voters on Election Day in November, a civil rights organization said earlier this week, according to The Philadelphia Daily News.

In a state where roughly 323,000 Latino voters reside, the controversial law threatens to restrict the votes of legitimate voters who are legally able to cast ballots. The Advancement Project, a civil rights organization based in Washington, released its report on Monday that warns the new law threatens to disenfranchise Latinos nationwide.

Mandating voters bear ID cards when casting ballots is part of an effort to stave off election fraud.

As many as 10 million eligible Latino voters might be adversely impacted by the voter ID laws that more than 20 states are now using, according to the civil rights organization.

"The pattern is unmistakable. State after state has moved to obstruct the ability of millions of Latino citizens to participate in our democracy," co-director Judith Browne Dianis with The Advancement Project said. "This concerted effort targeting Latinos and other voters of color not only undermines the principles of our constitution's guarantee of equal protection, but also impairs the fundamental American value of ensuring all citizens have an equal voice."

In Pennsylvania, the staff at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has not received sufficient training to process voter identifications, co-director Penda Hair with The Advancement Group told The Philadelphia Daily News.

"You don't have to pay $13 or have a birth certificate to get acceptable ID," Hair told the news source, "but many PennDOT staff don't understand this."

But the Pennsylvania Department of State is fully equipped and capable of handling this issue, an official with the agency told the news source.

"If someone is coming in and actually depicting themselves with proper forms, PennDOT staff have been trained on what to do to issue a voter-ID card," spokesman Nick Winkler told The Philadelphia Daily News.

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