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Ari Berman: Voter ID laws ‘could throw the election’

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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.”

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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:

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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NYC public advocate confronts defender of Eric Garner’s killer: ‘Stop pretending black folks aren’t human’

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Former New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and former FBI special agent James Gagliano debated the firing of Daniel Pantaleo, an NYPD officer who caused the death of Eric Garner.

Gagliano called the firing a "glaring miscarriage of justice."

"I look at it from the perspective of the law," Gagliano opined. "It's easy to watch the video and feel passion for the [Garner] family. We've had his wife on here, we've had his mother on here, we've had his children on here."

Gagliano insisted that he is not an "unabashed police shill." He said that basing the firing on the video of Garner's death is "unfair to the officer."

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WATCH: White man sprays black teen with hose after hurling racist abuse and claiming to be KKK member

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An East Rochester man sprayed a black teenager with a hose during a confrontation that was captured on video.

The man, whose name has not been released, claimed to be a Ku Klux Klan member during an argument with some black and white teenagers outside his home, and he sprayed one 14-year-old boy as he walked away from the white man, reported WROC-TV.

"You shouldn't be f*cking with the Klan," the man says, and walks toward his yard, where he grabs the hose and hurls a racial slur at the boy.

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Parents fight for custody of 4-year-old son after trying to treat his cancer with tea and ‘a positive state of mind’

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Two Florida parents are fighting this week to regain custody of their 4-year-old son who was taken away from them after they tried to treat his leukemia with a combination of tea and a "positive state of mind."

Local news station WFLA reports that Tampa Bay residents Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball are headed to court to push for custody to be reinstated months after they decided to stop medical treatment for their 4-year-old son Noah.

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