Protecting Voting Rights in Communities of Color
If you are a person of color, your right to vote in the upcoming elections may be under attack. Across the county, misguided state legislatures are proposing and passing laws that would add unnecessary obstacles to your ability to cast your ballot.
New obstacles to the ballot box include
- requiring voters to present unnecessary government-issued photo identification in order to vote;
- cutting early voting opportunities; and
- ending same-day voter registration/voting.
Studies indicated that each of these laws disproportionately impacts people of color. Estimates suggest that nearly 25% of African Americans do not have a valid form of government identification and that African Americans in urban areas use early voting opportunities more than any other group.
In 2011 alone, 34 states introduced voter suppression legislation, with laws passing in more than a dozen.
Why Don’t They Want You to Vote?
They don’t want you to vote is because your vote matters. The 2008 election boasted record turnout for minority voters. According to the Pew Research Center, which compared turnout rates in 2004 to those in 2008, the African American rate increased nearly five percent to 65.3%, nearly matching the rate for white eligible voters. Participation levels for Hispanics and Asian Americans voters also revealed increases of 2.7% and 2.4%, respectively.
Add in the projected growth of minority groups from the 2010 census, and it becomes clearer why some unethical state legislators have felt an urgent need to promote voter suppression measures.
Don’t let politicians bully you out of your right to vote.
Register to vote now.
You have a right to have your voice heard on Election Day. If you are already registered join the fight to help ensure your friends and neighbors don’t have their right to vote taken away.
For more information on how changes to voting laws will affect people of color, please see:
- "NAACP to challenge voting laws nationwide", The Grio, November 10, 2011