October 12th, 2012
06:30 PM ET

As Election Day nears, voter ID laws still worry some, encourage others

Editor's Note: CNN senior correspondent Joe Johns will debut a one-hour documentary, Voters in America: Who Counts, which focuses on new voting laws and how they may affect the outcome of the 2012 presidential election, airing on CNN/U.S. on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. ET and PT.

By Halimah Abdullah, CNN

Washington (CNN) - For LaVon Bracy, the pain of racial discrimination, of fighting for her rights as a U.S. citizen, still aches every time she thinks about Florida's new voter identification law.

"When I think I had ancestors that died for this right. I owe it to them ... to do what I'm doing," said Bracy, who years ago helped desegregate her Florida high school and today is fighting to change voting restrictions she feels are designed to keep people like her away from the polls.

Parts of the Florida law - which required a photo ID to vote, restricted voter registration techniques and limited early voting - have been curtailed by federal courts.

Still, it is one of more than two dozen laws across the country approved in at least 15 states since 2011 to deal with concerns around voter fraud and election irregularities. But courts and the Justice Department have reversed or weakened several of those regulations in a flurry of recent litigation.

Anita MonCrief, however, could not disagree more strongly with Bracy.

MonCrief, who is also African American, told women gathered at the Woman's Up Pavilion at the Republican National Convention in August that she resents when other blacks suggest that efforts to crack down on voter fraud are racially motivated.

"This is not the 60's and blacks are not your victims," MonCrief tweeted during the week of the convention. "Do you know any blacks that have been disenfranchised by having poll watchers in place? Neither do I."

CNN senior correspondent Joe Johns will explore the impact of tough new voter laws in an hour-long documentary set to air on Sunday. It focuses on new legislative voting changes in Florida and how those changes may affect the outcome of the 2012 presidential election.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Ethnicity • Race • Where we live
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  1. graves,p

    Not so long ago In the United States which involved the unfair treatment of African American as far as voters rights were concern. The way the 15th Amendenment deviced poll taxes and undestanding clause to a people who were not allow to read or write. This of course was hands down discrimnation. So is discrimnation till in the voting process.
    I seen a story on the news last week which made me wonder, "Are we going backwards".
    As if related to today's issues, African American leaders, (NAACP), are saying the states once again are using the 15th Amendement to fit their own needs. I am referencing to the requirement for identification inorder to vote. In Texas all you need is a gun license, and a student id is not allow. The Supreme court, just deined the picture id requirement in PA. The reasoning for the vote change was due to fear of voter fraud , which has only occurred in the pass is less than 2%. The question of the today is, why did all the changes to the voting law change within in 7 weeks of an electionof the President of the United States. Another big question mark of why would the polled be closed the Sunday before the election, when this is traditional the time when African American get out of church and the churches around up thier people and transport thier church members to the polls by the bus loads. It makes me wonder, will history books reflect this big crime, and will the readers shake thier heads in disbelief. •These new laws could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012. I heard a Soldier say when she were in another country, the people used thier thumb print for the purpose of ID to vote. Good idea, unless you have no thumbs.

    October 13, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |