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In the process, Texas’ own data showed that 795,955 registered voters did not have the ID required and these voters were disproportionately Latino and African American.South Carolina’s own statistics showed 239,000 registered voters in that state did not have the requisite ID.So the vote suppression efforts were, unfortunately, focused on demographic groups that historically have been targeted in efforts to restrict voting rights.The new laws and procedures included strict photo identification and proof of citizenship laws; rules making it harder for former felons to regain their voting rights; laws making voter registration more difficult; pre-election purges of eligible voters; cutbacks on early voting which predictably resulted in unacceptably long lines at the polls; and misuse and manipulation of rules around provisional ballots.Nonetheless, there was plenty of disenfranchisement and possible exclusion in the 2012 election that will help point us in a new direction going forward: enacting election reforms that expand access to the ballot and create a more inclusive democracy.These measures include Same Day Registration and other reforms to modernize our voter registration system; expansion of early voting to avoid long lines on Election Day; laws to prevent unfounded challenges and other forms of voter harassment and intimidation and greater efforts to ensure Americans who are not proficient in English can exercise their right to vote.At one time the polls showed 80 percent support for the measure.But a strong grassroots campaign to educate the public about the measure turned the tide.
The right to vote is just that – a fundamental right which is the cornerstone of American democracy.
Moreover, the threats made by True the Vote and its allied organizations to challenge peoples’ rights at the polls turned out to be more bark than bite.
Demos and other groups worked to put a spotlight on their misguided and possibly illegal intentions, and relatively few of these threats materialized.
As will be discussed below, the measures to make voting harder for eligible Americanstook many forms.
Most of them were instigated by Republican dominated state legislatures which in 20 passed laws that would disproportionately exclude certain groups from the voting process, particularly African Americans, youth and Latinos.
African Americans matched their record turnout of 2008 and were 13 percent of the electorate.