New voter ID laws are being challenged in several states
POSTED: Sunday, September 30, 2012 - 4:00pm
UPDATED: Sunday, September 30, 2012 - 4:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — The right to vote is at the center of legal battles underway in states across the country.
Voters are set to encounter new stricter requirements affecting who can cast a ballot, and when. More than a dozen new laws that require voters to have photo ID to cast a ballot are prompting outrage.
In Pennsylvania Friday voters shared horror stories of trying to comply with a new photo ID requirement.
"It took me days just to get my ID," Lakeesha Panel complained.
The law has been tied up in court for months.
A commonwealth judge says he'll likely uphold most of it, but soften the photo ID requirement for this election only. South Carolina's new photo ID requirement is in in federal court.
Judges already rejected similar laws passed in Texas and Wisconsin.
Voters in 31 states, many with Republican majorities, will face some type of voter ID requirement this election.
"It looks like Republican politicians are trying to manipulate the system for the benefit of their party," says the Brennan Center for Justice's Nicole Austin Hillery.
Supporters of the laws claim they want to prevent fraud, but Austin Hillery says voter fraud isn't a problem.
"You don't create a solution to a problem that is non-existent," she says.
Protesters say the law will predominantly hurt Democratic voters; many will have to cast provisional ballots if they don't get the proper ID.
"And it takes a while for the election officials to determine whether or not these ballots should be counted," points out Professor Michael McDonald of the United States Elections Project.
Possibly delaying or and even tilting the results in a presidential race that's expected to be close. Other states have passed laws cutting back on early voting, making it more difficult to register to vote, and making it harder for those with criminal convictions to vote.