New laws in 2012: More voter ID
Even as the feds move to block South Carolina from requiring voters to show a photo ID, a handful of other states are set to ring in 2012 with new laws mandating that voters produce picture identification cards before they are permitted to cast ballots.
Beginning on Jan. 1, new laws will take effect in Kansas, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Texas requiring residents present a certified government-issued ID if they want to vote, according to a list of new 2012 laws compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Civil rights groups like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which co-authored an extensive report earlier this month detailing 25 voter restriction measures that passed in 2011 - eight of which were photo ID laws — say the measures represent a coordinated conservative effort to repress the voting rights of minority groups.
“Many surprises came out of the 2008 elections, including record turnout, registration and participation,” said Hilary Shelton, NAACP’s Washington bureau director, who called the number of voter laws that passed last year “unprecedented.”