In a conference held yesterday in Washington, DC, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law released its predictions for new voter suppression strategies that may be used by government officials for the 2006 elections. The conference highlighted five ways in which the disenfranchisement of eligible voters may occur in the November elections: restrictions on voter registration drives, barriers to getting on the voter rolls, purges of the voter rolls, requirements for voter ID and proof of citizenship, and the security of voting machines. The implications of these strategies may make it difficult and frustrating for potential voters to register before and vote on Election Day.
Restricting voter registration drives makes it especially difficult to register the 54 million eligible Americans who are not yet registered to vote. According to the Brennan Center, non-profit organizations registered millions of new voters for the 2004 elections. Restricting non-profit voter registration drives would be yet another barrier to the disabled, elderly, low-income populations and students who have typically found it difficult to register otherwise. Many states have enacted laws that restrict these voter registration drives by including strict deadlines and time requirements.
The Feminist Majority Foundation’s Get Out Her Vote Campaign is a student voter education and registration initiative that aims to raise registration and voting by young women. The campaign targets young women and students of color as they are typically underrepresented groups.