At least 219,000 Latino voters are in danger of not being able to vote during the Nov. 6 election, a new report finds. (Photo : Reuters)
With the Latino population on pace to make a huge impact in several political spheres as the 2012 election approaches in two weeks, several state laws are threatening to stop as many as 219,000 Latinos from voting, a new report released Tuesday states.
The report, published by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund (NALEO), details that Latino voters have grown, as has their political influence, in the last few decades. However, the report cautions, the population faces barriers to their voting power, chief among them "a significant added obstruction" of restrictive state voting laws making it harder for Latinos to vote.
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Among the states that have passed laws with significant impact on Latinos include Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and Tennessee, according to the report's details. It was estimated that at least 95,000 Hispanic voters will be affected by voter ID rules during this election while roughly 124,000 will be affected-primarily in Florida-by early voting regulations.
"Restrictive changes enacted to voting policy will have a worse effect on the Latino electorate than on all voters on the aggregate," the NALEO report states.
A similar study released last month by the Advancement Project found that at least 10 million Latino voters could be affected by new voting restrictions, including purges of alleged non-citizens in 16 states, including Florida, requirements to prove U.S. citizenship in three states, and photo ID laws in nine states.
Arturo Vargas, executive director of the NALEO Educational Fund, told ABC NEWS that his organization's report uses different methodology, looking specifically at where voter ID laws are in effect instead of simply looking at where they have been proposed or passed, as many laws are in litigation and may not be enacted in the future.
Latinos have been widely shown as a demographic in favor of President Barack Obama, which is a key factor when considering that more than 1.5 million Latino voters are registered to vote in the Sunshine State, according to state information reported by the Pew Hispanic Center. In Florida, registered Latino voting Democrats, at 592,000-or 12.9 percent of the state's Democratic voters-outnumber the 463,000 Florida Hispanic Republicans voters 38 percent to 30 percent.