New strict and discriminatory voting laws for the upcoming Nov. 4 elections to choose an entirely new House of Representatives, a third of the U.S. Senate and the governors of 36 states will disqualify about 600,000 voters, according to MSNBC.
There are 14 states implementing the new voter I.D. laws, with a total of 31 states implementing some form of voter identification law next week, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures, Reuters reported. Seven of those state carry a strict requirement for photo IDs.
"On this Election Day, instead of being heard, the voices of hundreds of thousands of voters may be silenced because of stringent new voting laws that have the clear effect of keeping eligible voters away from the ballot box," Barbara R. Arnwine, president of the national Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and leader of Election Protection, wrote on MSNBC.
The new voter I.D. has been sponsored by mostly Republican lawmakers with the "intent" to stop voter fraud, the Los Angeles Times reported. Civil rights groups argue evidence shows a very small amount of voter fraud occurs, and that the laws are intended to keep many Democratic-leaning voters home, such as the young, poor and minorities.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos said records show only four instances of impersonation in Texas, one of the states which has passed the more stricter of the voting I.D. laws, the L.A. Times reported. In Texas, a concealed handgun license is valid as a voter I.D., but a university ID is not.
In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a section of the Voting Rights Act that required areas with a history of racial discrimination to get federal approval for changes to voting laws, according to MSNBC.
Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia have more stringent voter identification laws this year, while Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin have shortened early-voting periods ahead of Election Day on Nov. 4.
In North Carolina, the reduction in early voting hours and the elimination of same-day voter registration that is popular with minority voters, according to the L.A. Times.