The Laws Against Voters

In our September 1 issue, Lou Dubose reveals the ways in which Republicans are manipulating voting laws in Ohio. Below, Dubose recalls the restrictive laws passed by 11 other states since 2008.

Since Barack Obama won the 2008 election, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin have passed laws that require government-issued ID cards to vote, and impose a number of other restrictions on voter registration and voting.

These 11 states control 131 electoral votes, almost half of the 270 needed to win the November election.

Pennsylvania, a state Obama carried, passed a law that leaves 758,939 voters—9.3 percent of the electorate—without identification required to vote. Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes.

One in 10 voters in all these states do not have the required photo ID.

Among groups that tend to vote Democratic, higher percentages lack the required voter identification: 25 percent of African-Americans, 16 percent of Hispanics, and 18 percent of Americans over age 65.

All the laws, with the exception of the one in Rhode Island, have been enacted in states with Republican governors and Republican-controlled legislatures. Rhode Island’s law was passed by a Democratic legislature and signed by an independent governor.

Many of the laws are based on model legislation drafted by the Public Safety and Elections Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Group, a lobby funded association of Republican legislators.