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Voting Laws

9:00pm November 9, 2011

Mixed Results on Voter Restrictions

voter-id

By MACKENZIE WEINGER, Politico

In the latest showdown over voter restrictions, Maine on Tuesday restored Election Day registration while Mississippians took a different tack, approving a ballot measure requiring people show photo identification at the polls.

The ongoing battle pits Republicans and Democrats nationwide in a debate over tightening legislation on voting laws, and the mixed referendum results showcase the divide between those advocating for more stringent rules and those fighting against the wave of legislation proposing new voter ID laws.

While many critics say voter ID laws unfairly target both poor and minority voters, those in favor of stricter restrictions deem it essential in challenging voter fraud.

With 60 percent of the vote, the Associated Press reported Maine voters overturned a new law the Republican-controlled legislature passed in June ending same-day registration and requiring voters to register at least two days before they went to the polls.

While Maine nixed its new voter restriction, Mississippi on Tuesday became the latest state to toughen requirements. Mississippians approved the state’s proposed constitutional amendment requiring voters to present a government-issued photo ID at the poll, the AP reported, with 62 percent of voters in favor of the initiative and 38 percent against.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Mississippi now ranks as the 31st state in the nation to require voters show an ID before casting a ballot.

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