Sunday, April 22, 2012

Voter Fraud Backlash: less people voting this November?

To stop voter fraud, or to stop voters from voting? That is the question today.

Republican-led legislatures are trying to pass more laws making voting difficult. They say it’s an effort to curb fraud, but Democrats say it’s an effort to curb voter turnout for President Obama.

Rock the Vote, a nationwide organization that mobilizes young voters, said the new laws would make it more difficult for the group to educate people on how to sign up to vote.

          So what is it?

    Who should we believe?

“New state laws designed to fight voter fraud could reduce the number of Americans signing up to vote in this year's presidential election by hundreds of thousands, a potential problem for President Barack Obama's re-election bid.

Voting laws passed by Republican-led legislatures in a dozen states during the past year have sharply restricted voter-registration drives that typically target young, low-income, African-American and Hispanic voters - groups that have backed the Democratic president by wide margins.

A further 16 states are considering bills that would end voter registration on election days, impose a range of limits on groups that register voters and make it more difficult for people to sign up, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School.” (Source)

The new laws have led to a flurry of lawsuits across the country.

“The new anti-fraud election laws vary from state to state, but Florida's has received much attention largely because the state will be crucial in determining the winner of the November 6 presidential election.

Last May, Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, signed a law that imposes tough new restrictions on third-party groups if they do not turn in voter registration forms quickly.

State legislators in Florida - the state at the center of the disputed 2000 presidential election won by Republican George W. Bush - said the law was aimed at preventing fraud and adding credibility to elections.

But the groups that try to register voters say the law - which requires the groups to register with the state and turn in voter forms within 48 hours of obtaining them or face at least $5,000 in fines - are onerous and discriminatory.”  (source)

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