Report: Voter ID can be hard to get

July 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM
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NEW YORK, July 18 (UPI) -- Many eligible voters in the 10 U.S. states that have restrictive photo ID laws will have trouble getting the document, a report released Wednesday said.

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School said the burden is likely to be heaviest for poor voters and for blacks and Hispanics. While the states are required to provide free photo identification for those who lack a driver's license or other documentation, people must often obtain copies of birth certificates or marriage licenses, at a cost, to get the ID.

The states that have adopted the new laws requiring voters to produce photo ID to cast their ballots are Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin, all currently with Republican-dominated state governments. Supporters of the laws say they are necessary to reduce election fraud.

The report said 10 million eligible voters in those states live more than 10 miles from the nearest office where they can obtain a free photo ID and 500,000 of them do not have cars.

Some part-time offices also have very limited hours. In Sauk City, Wis., for example, the office is open only on the fifth Wednesday of the month -- and only four months this year have five Wednesdays.

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