An estimated 700,000 young minority voters could be barred from voting in November because of photo ID laws passed across the country in recent years, according to a new study. The number of minority voters under the age of 30 likely to be disenfranchised by these new voting laws — passed overwhelmingly by Republican-led legislatures across the country — is a conservative estimate, according to the study’s authors. The actual number of voters in that category who could be disenfranchised is probably closer to 1 million, they said. The projections include African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders. “It’s a reminder that our voting rights have always been under attack and probably always will be,” said Cathy Cohen, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago who co-authored the report, Turning Back the Clock on Voting Rights: The Impact of New Photo Identification Requirements on Young People of Color.
The study was created by the Black Youth Project, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that aims to increase civic engagement and voter participation among minority youth. “I don’t think this is new, but I think the scale of it is new… I think the brashness of hearing elected officials talk about how these laws will guarantee a win in their state for [Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney],” Cohen told The Huffington Post. “And I think there is a willingness to be visible and vocal, which I think is new for us in the modern era.”