This year state governments across the country have enacted new laws making it harder to vote. Today we released the first comprehensive study assessing the impact. The result is troubling, as The New York Times reported this morning in its lead story.
The facts: these new laws could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012. That’s larger than the popular vote margin in two out of the last three presidential elections. In fact, half the “battleground” states have already cut back voting. These restrictions fall heaviest on young, minority and low-income voters. They may tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election.
That’s wrong. We should not enact new policies that make it harder for citizens to participate in our democracy. Rather, common-sense steps can modernize voter registration – registering voters automatically, cutting costs while curbing fraud.
Over the coming year we will continue to update you – and we will fight to make sure that all Americans can exercise their right to vote.
The Brennan Center for Justice
at NYU School of Law