Restrictive voting laws inspire minority backlash
Restrictions now a rallying cry
On a hip-hop radio station in northeast Ohio, a swing state where turnout among black voters may determine whether Barack Obama wins a second term, listeners are being exhorted to vote this year — not just for a candidate, but to send a message. Republican state legislators across the nation have sought to limit early voting and impose voting identification requirements ahead of this year’s presidential election — moves widely seen as an effort to tamp down turnout by African Americans. In Ohio, where minority voters disproportionately relied on early voting in 2008, that effort has mostly failed. But in the process, Republican legislators seem to have handed a powerful rallying cry to those seeking to maximize minority-voter turnout.