According to a recent Fox News poll, 70% of Americans favor voter ID laws, which is criticized by minority groups as a tool for intimidation.
Voter ID laws, which vary by state, require any voter to provide proof of citizenship and legal residence. Some minority groups are critical of this type of legislation, noting that they seem to be more about undocumented immigrants and intimidation than about requiring documentation.
“History has also shown that when a Latino voter approaches the polling place but is stopped by a person perceived to be an authority figure checking for identification, there’s something intimidating about that experience that evokes fear of discrimination,” said Harry Pregerson, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge. “This intimidation has the effect of keeping Latino voters away from the polls.”
Another aspect of this issue is the notion that undocumented Latino immigrants are influencing the outcome of elections. “According to the Fox News poll,” the majority of respondents feel that undocumented Latinos have a direct impact on the results of nationwide elections.
“It’s no secret that Latinos will be the deciding factor in this election and the outcome will have an impact on the Latino community for years to come,” says Obama campaign manager Jim Messina.
As previously reported on La Plaza, the Hispanic Federation, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) have united their efforts to mobilize Latino voters.
“There is a trend here that no one is going to reverse,” said Brent Wilkes, LULAC’s National Executive Director. “Every four years, when Americans go to the polls, there will be a lot more Latino voters.”