It may never be possible to calculate exactly how many eligible voters were unable to vote Tuesday due to new voter-ID laws, registration problems, and polling location misinformation. Wendy Weiser, the director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center, wouldn’t give an estimate of how many people were likely blocked from the polls this year, but she did say that millions of Americans were affected by new changes, particularly laws passed after the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act last summer. In Texas alone, the implementation of a new voter-ID law meant that 600,000 registered voters lacked the proper identification. You can get a sense, though, of the scale of voter difficulties from the Election Protection Hotline (866-OUR-VOTE). The hotline is a project of the Election Protection Coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The hotline handles calls from voters who need to know if they’re registered, find their assigned polling locations, and report difficulties in their attempts to vote. Yesterday, the national hotline had taken over 16,000 calls by 8 p.m., with 3.5 hours to go until polling ended. (By comparison, the hotline received 12,857 calls all day on Election Day in 2010.)Full Article: Midterm Voter Suppression Election Protection Hotline Swamped | New Republic.
Nov 7 2014