Eight Million Latinos Face Discriminatory Voting Laws

More negative effects of the 2013 Supreme Court repeal of the Voting Rights Act are coming to light as the presidential election looms six months away.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO Educational Fund) released a report yesterday revealing that an estimated 875,000 Latino voters will be restricted from voting in the general election in November.

In the U.S., there are roughly 27.3 million eligible Latino voters, but NALEO has discovered that nearly a million of these won’t be able to cast their rightful vote.

According to the NALEO press release, new discriminatory laws implemented since the 2012 election are expected to change the course of the 2016 election. The report indicates that “more than 8 million Latino voters reside in states where they will be without the full protection they had in 2012.”

About 13.1 million Latino voters are expected to vote this November, but nineteen states have created new legal barriers since limitations imposed on the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder ruling in 2013. Prior to 2013, states were required to obtain federal approval to make voting changes.

NALEO suggests that the majority of states with the greatest Latino population growth have made it more difficult to vote with the addition of multiple forms and truncated early voting periods.

Six of the nine states with more than 100 percent Latino growth—including Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee—have implemented new laws, making voting less accessible to eligible voters.  In particular, the new voter ID requirements in these states which have made it more difficult to vote in person and by mail are under fire for discrimination.

In the 2012 election, 71 percent of Latino voters supported Obama, while 27 percent voted for Romney.

Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Staff

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