The Center for Social Inclusion Releases Report on the Impact of Photo ID Laws on Senior Citizens of Color on Election Day
Seniors of Color Active in the Electoral Process Face Major Difficulties Voting in 2012 Presidential Election In States with Strict Voter ID Laws
New York, NY — November 5, 2012: The Center for Social Inclusion (CSI) released today, Citizens Denied: The Impact of Photo ID Laws on Senior Citizens of Color. The report estimates that in the four states with strict voter ID laws, nearly 140,000 senior citizens of color who have been lawful, active voters will have a more difficult time voting. Combined with the Black Youth Project’s estimation that 700,000 youth of color may be disenfranchised by photo ID laws, it is clear that these laws will have an impact on this year’s election.
The report shows that photo ID requirements will disproportionately affect senior citizens of color, making it more difficult for them to vote in this presidential election as well as future elections. CSI’s report estimates that in states with “strict” photo ID laws:
- Nearly one in two Black voters 65 and older may have a harder time voting.
- Nearly one in three Latino voters 65 and older may have a harder time voting.
- Seniors of color may be excluded at a rate two to three times the rate of White seniors.
Four states (Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and Tennessee) have enforced what are classified as “strict” laws. For seniors, the obstacles faced obtaining a photo ID are often caused by financial limitations, health issues and a lack of transportation options in the area. “Strict” laws are defined as those that require current, signed photo identification. Without signed or current identification, citizens must file a provisional ballot that will be counted only if they return with the proper documents to their board of elections within just a few days.
“At the Center for Social Inclusion, we believe in ensuring that Americans can choose who leads them. Senior citizens of color could suddenly lose their ability to participate in a process that they fought to make fair.” says Maya Wiley, President of the Center for Social Inclusion.
About the Center for Social Inclusion:
The Center for Social Inclusion works to unite public policy research and grassroots advocacy to transform structural inequity and exclusion into structural fairness and inclusion. We work with community groups and national organizations to develop policy ideas, foster effective leadership, and develop communications tools for an opportunity-rich world in which we all will thrive. Visit www.centerforsocialinclusion.org.