Ari Berman, who covers voting rights for The Nation and Rolling Stone magazines, said Monday that voter ID laws in Texas and other states could help Republicans win the presidency in 2012.
“It could throw the election,” he told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. “As you mentioned earlier in your introduction, the states that have passed restrictive voting laws account for 214 electoral votes, nearly 80 percent of what is needed. We’re talking about very, very significant swing votes—swing states, like Pennsylvania, like Florida, like Wisconsin.”
Republicans in state legislatures have pushed for more restrictive voting laws to combat alleged voter fraud. But Democrats claim the new laws are merely an attempt to suppress voter turnout. They note that groups more likely to vote for Democrats — including minorities, the poor and elderly — are less likely to have the proper photo-ID now required to vote in many states.
“What is going on in these states could swing the election in terms of who makes it to the ballot box and then in terms of whether their votes are counted,” Berman added.
“So I’ve always said, since the 2010 election, this has been one of the biggest sleeper issues there is out there, where people weren’t paying enough attention, but it clearly had a major impact. Now people are starting to pay a lot more attention, but the problem is, a lot of these laws are already on the books, or they’re in court, but we don’t know what the outcome will be.”
Watch video, courtesy of Democracy Now, below: