DAVID LOVE: Draconian laws could disenfranchise 5 million voters

By David Love

Voting is supposed to be a right in this country, but many states are sabotaging that right.

According to a new report released by the Brennan Center for Justice, a number of states have passed new laws that block people from registering to vote. Some of these states have gone to ludicrous lengths to deny the franchise to their citizens.

With 19 new laws and two executive orders in place across the country (and at least 42 bills still pending), it is clear that some lawmakers believe that too many people are voting. These laws could impact the voting rights of as many as 5 million people across the country. And the restrictions will disproportionately impact low-income voters, the young, people of color and those with disabilities. Those states that have enacted such laws account for 171 electoral votes in 2012, 63 percent of the 270 needed to clinch the presidency.

Five states — Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin — have passed onerous photo ID laws. Alabama, Kansas and Tennessee have new proof of citizenship laws in place. And Florida and Texas have severely restricted voter registration drives or eliminated them altogether. Florida, Georgia and Ohio have also eliminated early voting, while Maine has ended Election Day registration.