Congressional Black Caucus Targets State Voter Laws As Hostile

Source: William Douglas and David Lightman / Miami Herald

WASHINGTON – Minority voters have long had problems simply exercising their right to vote in certain parts of the country – and minority lawmakers fear the situation will become worse in 2012.

Their worries are heightened by new laws in 13 states that they say will restrict access to the ballot box. Some of the changes would require voters to show government-approved identification, restrict voter registration drives by third-party groups, curtail early voting, do away with same-day registration, and reverse rules allowing convicted felons who’ve served their time the right to vote.

In addition to the states that have passed such laws, 24 other states are weighing similar measures, according to New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.

Civil rights groups, voting experts and some lawmakers say the new laws have echoes of poll taxes and literacy tests – devices that for generations blocked black voters from easily going to the polls.

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