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Study: Millions in voter ID nightmare

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By MACKENZIE WEINGER | 7/18/12 11:21 AM EDT Updated: 7/18/12 1:37 PM EDT
In the states with significant voter ID laws, more than 10 million eligible citizens live 10 or more miles away from an office issuing the proper photo IDs and about half a million of those voters don’t have access to a vehicle, according to a study out Wednesday.
One in 10 eligible voters do not have the proper photo ID required to cast ballots under new voter ID laws in the 10 states studied, and the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law found a number of major difficulties for citizens who need to obtain the correct identification.

In the report, the Brennan Center — which is regarded as a liberal think tank and is against the new voter ID laws — states free photo IDs are not easily accessible to the 11 percent of voters who do not currently have them.

In the 10 states with restrictive voter ID laws, about half a million eligible voters do not have access to a vehicle and live 10 miles from a government office where they could acquire an ID, the study found. And more than 10 million eligible voters live more than 10 miles away from an ID-issuing office. About 1.2 million black voters and 500,000 Hispanic voters live more than 10 miles away from their closest ID office, and the study noted “people of color are more likely to be disenfranchised by these laws since they are less likely to have photo ID than the general population.”
The government offices where voters can obtain the proper IDs have limited business hours, the Brennan Center stated, citing an example in Sauk City, Wisconsin where the ID office is open only on the fifth Wednesday of any month — but only four months in 2012 have that fifth Wednesday.

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