The influence of Latino voters have grown in the past few years. So much so that the Latino vote, now favoring President Obama over Mitt Romney 69 to 24 percent, could play a decisive and major role in the 2012 presidential election.
According to the 2010 Census, America’s 21 million Latino citizens represent 10 percent of eligible voters. And it’s projected this year the number could top 25 million voters, or just over 12 percent of the nation’s eligible voters.
But that voting power has been under attack with the flood of new Republican-led state level voting restrictions.
It finds voter purges and ID requirements being enacted in 23 states could disproportionately affect voter registration and participation by Latino citizens.
In fact, in many states the number exceeds the margin of victory in the 2008 election. And that number could grow if these laws aren’t blocked.
Colorado and Florida, for example, are cited as identifying voters for possible purging by comparing their voter registrations with driver’s license databases.
Here’s how it works: naturalized citizens typically receive their licenses when they were legal immigrants, before they became naturalized citizens, which means this use of outdated information specifically targets naturalized citizens.
These laws are an assault on voting rights. And they are turning eligible Latino voters into second class citizens.