It’s not a state secret that Democrats want desperately to regain control of the House in 2012, or that both they and President Obama will need every single vote they can get. But Republicans controlling several state legislatures are doing all they can to make the Democrats’ mission as difficult as possible by implementing strict new voter laws that opponents predict coulddisenfranchise millions of voters.
Rep. John Conyers, ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, held a hearing on voting rights and new laws Monday during which civil rights advocates testified about their impact on African-Americans and other voters.
“This year we have seen several roadblocks to voting rights put up at the state level which would disproportionately disenfranchise racial and ethnic minorities, students, low-income Americans and the elderly,” NAACP Washington bureau chief Hilary Shelton testified. “These include proof of citizenship requirements, the elimination of same-day registration, a shortening of voting periods and the enactment of laws making it more difficult for nonpartisan third parties to register voters.”
Democrats have vowed to fight to have the laws overturned, which could be difficult while Republicans are still in control. But the Democrats say they also plan to hold forums in every state that has implemented or is considering making changes.