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Voter ID Laws Risk Voting Access

According to a report released Wednesday by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, a half-million Americans in 10 states are at risk of being unable to vote. Those 10 states have voter identification laws and the NYU report finds that while legal precedent requires states to provide free voter IDs to eligible residents who don't have them, there are barriers that could prevent many Americans from voting in November. About 11 percent of eligible voters lack current government-issued photo IDs, and "seniors, low-income individuals [and] minority voters are particularly over-represented within that group," the report's co-author Keesha Gaskins told reporters in a conference call.

Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin are the states with restrictive voter ID laws. Yet, among the report's findings, nearly 500,000 eligible voters do not have access to a vehicle and live more than 10 miles from the nearest state ID-issuing office that is open more than two days a week. More than 10 million eligible voters in those states live more than 10 miles from such offices, a number that includes 1.2 million eligible Black voters and 500,000 eligible Hispanic voters.

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