CHICAGO (CBS) — A sizable number of young minority voters could find themselves turned away from polling places in November because of new photo ID laws.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, a new study says as many as 700,000 young minority voters could be ineligible to vote in less than two months, because they will not have a proper government-issued ID card such as a driver’s license or a passport.

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LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports


In an Associated Press report, U of C expert Cathy Cohen said even the 700,000 estimate is conservative. She told the wire that the figure represents demobilization of 9 to 25 percent, but the number of young people of color without government-issued IDs could be as high as 25 to 50 percent.

The study by Cohen, and by Jon C. Rogowski of Washington University, was released Wednesday by the Chicago-based Black Youth Project. It said the voter ID laws will likely reduce voter turnout significantly among young people of color, as well as sending them away from polling places when they show up without ID.

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The study found that in total, the new laws could keep 401,343 young African-American voters away from the polls assuming the turnout in November matches 2004, or 477,050 if the turnout matches 2008.

As many as 190,724 young Latino voters could be kept from the polls assuming 2004 levels, and as many as 256,170 assuming 2008 levels.

As many as 46,017 young Asian-American voter, 6,388 Native American voters, and 2,747 Pacific Islander voters could also be kept away, the study said.

Congressional races and even the presidential race could be affected in some states, according to the study the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis.
Researchers say a large number of minority adults don’t even know about the laws.

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Illinois has no voter ID law, but Wisconsin and Indiana both do. Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas have similar laws either in place or pending before the U.S. Justice Department. Idaho, South Dakota, Michigan, New Hampshire, Alabama, Florida and Louisiana also have voter ID laws, but have limited provisions in place allowing people to vote without ID.