Help Potential Voters Get the Right ID

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(AP Photo/Cliff Schiappa)

The Issue: Helping voters understand new ID laws

The Initiative: The Election Protection coalition

Background: New laws requiring voters to show ID at the polls have swept the nation in recent years, most notably in Pennsylvania, effectively restricting the right to vote — particularly for minorities, the elderly, the poor, students and people with disabilities. These groups are the least likely to have ID and often have trouble getting it (they are also, incidentally, the groups most likely to vote Democratic).

This year more than 5 million Americans are at risk of disenfranchisement. The laws are theoretically meant to prevent voter fraud, but even defenders of the laws admit that in-person fraud is exceedingly rare.

The non-partisan Election Protection coalition works to defend the right to vote through education, outreach and a dedicated hotline. This year they’re focusing on helping voters without ID to meet the new requirements. Visit their website to learn the rules in your state, spread the word about the documents your neighbors will need at the polls, help potential voters to get the ID they need, and, if you’re a lawyer, paralegal or law student, volunteer to work in the call center or monitor the polls on Election Day.

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