Possible Voting Restrictions for Blacks and Latinos/as

Recently, many articles have been released about potential threats to voting rights for Blacks and Latinas/os in the upcoming Presidential election. Considering the history of disenfranchisement in this country, the recent news has been alarming for many activist groups. Furthermore, the potential disenfranchisement of several minority voters could possibly be helpful for Republican hopefuls who are looking to for a big election win. For those who are not familiar with the new legislation that has been passed in several states, read the articles below:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/05/civil-rights-naacp-voter-warning

http://www.thenation.com/blog/163755/gop-voting-laws-could-swing-2012-election

http://www.good.is/post/new-voting-restrictions-will-affect-five-million-voters-in-2012/

One of the most interesting sections of the first article was the block quote below:

Studies have showed that the proportion of voters who do not have access to valid photo ID cards is much higher among older African-Americans because they were not given birth certificates in the days of segregation. Students and young voters also often lack identification and are thus in danger of being stripped of their right to vote.

This block quote was interesting for me because it highlighted the intersection between two critical groups: young/student voters and minority voters. As a young student of color, it could possibly seem as though voting is an impossible task. However, instead of feeling defeated, all students should look up the requirements for voting in the their state. If you happen to me an out-of-state student like myself, absentee voting is also a possibility. Check out the link below to see the process:

http://www.brennancenter.org/studentvoting

Sadly, some states have restrictive laws that make it impossible for college students to vote, regardless of their eligibility. Some of the restrictions arise from issues of government identification, residency, and school identification. For more information on this issue, read the articles below:

http://aspanational.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/college-students-denied-voting-rights/

http://campusprogress.org/articles/tennessee_voter_id_law_excludes_college_students/

Overall, the issue of voting restrictions is very problematic. Instead of allowing these political tactics to defeat minority voters, we must educate ourselves about the alternative options available to us. We can spread information about early voting, acceptable forms of identification, required amounts of identification, absentee voting, and so on. Voting is an important right that should not be taken away. The election will be here in no time, and we do have the power to rock the vote and take what is ours.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/story/2011-12-11/early-voting-laws-minority/51816886/1

http://www.declareyourself.com/voting_faq/state_by_state_info_2.html

http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections-campaigns/voter-id-state-requirements.aspx

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