How will the American presidential election be won in November 2012? By the Republicans buying the election? Perhaps. But money cannot always buy an election. That is why Republicans have spent the last four to six years passing a spate of voter suppression laws in "swing states" that will make it more difficult and costly for the young, the elderly, minorities, union members and single and elderly women to cast a vote for Barack Obama.
Although the Republican effort is not exactly a secret, few Americans are discussing it with the urgency it deserves. The nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law says that since the start of 2011, 16 states -- which account for 214 electoral votes—have passedrestrictive voting laws. Each law is different: some curb voter registration drives; others require new and costly forms of identification; and still others insist that voters produce government-issued photo IDs at the polls. The Brennan Center also points out that:
"[T]he scope of the suppression movement and its potential impact arestaggering ... as many as 11 percent of eligible voters -- roughly 21 million Americans—lack current, unexpired government-issued photo IDs. The percentages are even higher among seniors, African Americans and other minorities, the working poor, the disabled and students -- constituencies that traditionally skew Democratic and whose disenfranchisement could prove decisive in any close election."
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