The voter ID laws designed to prevent ineligible prospective voters from casting ballots could represent a fillip for presidential candidate Mitt Romney and other Republicans in November’s elections.
At least 5 million potential voters, mostly young and minority people supportive of President Barack Obama could be wiped from the voting list, Politico
reports. The voter ID laws have been implemented by Republican governors and GOP-led legislatures. Democrats claim the laws are designed to tamp down Obama’s support as much as they are to prevent illegal voting.
Republicans argue that the new laws – passed in six swing states and several others – simply halt voter fraud. The swing states that have implemented voter ID laws are Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Florida and Ohio put laws into effect that curb early voting.
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“I just don’t think it’s too onerous to pass [these laws.] Our vote is our most sacred expression of our desire for our country,” Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote, a group that advocates for more voter ID legislation, told Politico.
The laws are more prevalent in swing states because of their importance in determining the presidential election outcome. “Swing states are always much more likely to have these kinds of laws restricting voting,” Wendy Weiser, director of Brennan’s Democracy Program told Politico.
To show how important the questionable voters are for Obama, in 2008, 18 percent of Philadelphia residents, who supported Obama by a wide margin, don’t have enough identification to vote in 2012.
One factor muddying the waters is that the laws could be changed before the election. Already Ohio’s voter ID law has been largely repealed.
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