The GOP Assault on Voting Rights

Former President Clinton says it's the worst he's seen since Jim Crow. Is anyone paying attention?

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While everyone is focused on President Obama's poll numbers and the race for the GOP nomination, something every bit as important is going on behind the scenes, Loop 21 reports.

Republicans have been working toward changes in photo ID laws, proof of citizenship laws, laws making voter registration harder, laws reducing early and absentee voting days and laws making it harder to restore voting rights of felons. Former President Clinton has called the rules "[T]he most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time."

"You" means poor and minority voters, and Clinton says the efforts to limit the franchise are the worst he's seen since Jim Crow:

That's because the GOP by way of Republican lead state legislatures have put in place new voting laws that will make it much more difficult for traditionally Democratic voters to cast their ballots next year. The GOP's all out assault on voting will affect nearly 5 million people and almost all of them are Democratic voters.

According to a new report released by the Brennan Center for Justice, the impact of new voting restrictions on 2012 could be significant. The groups that will be affected by these new voting restrictions are minority and poor voters.

"This is the most significant cutback in voting rights in decades. More voters may be affected than the margin of victory in two out of the past three presidential elections," said Michael Waldman, the Center's executive director. "In 2012 we should make it easier for every eligible citizen to vote. Instead, we have made it far harder for too many. Partisans should not try to tilt the electoral playing field in this way."

Read more at Loop 21.

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