Today the Black Youth Project released its latest memo: “Black and Latino Youth Disproportionately Affected by Voter Identification Laws in 2012 Election.”

The new analysis finds that voter identification laws are applied unevenly across racial groups and have significant discriminatory effects on Latino and Black youth.

The results underscore the importance of Section 5 of the Voter Rights Act, which requires states with a history of discrimination to receive pre-clearance from the Justice Department before implementing voting law changes.

The Justice Department had voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas struck down, but the Voting Rights Act provision faces a challenge in the Supreme Court.

Specifically, research showed that:

  • Nearly three-quarters (72.3 percent) of young Black voters were asked for some form of identification, compared with 50.8 percent of young white voters and 60.8 percent of young Latino voters.
  • Young Black (64.5 percent) and Latino (57.0 percent) voters were considerably more likely to be asked to show photo identification to vote compared to young white voters (42.2 percent).
  • Nearly two-thirds (65.5 percent) of Black youth were asked to show identification in states without ID requirements, compared with 55.3 percent of Latino youth and 42.8 percent of white youth.
  • In states with voter identification laws, higher percentages of Black youth (94.3 percent) were asked for ID compared with Latino (81.8 percent) and white (84.3 percent) youth.


“Black and Latino Youth Disproportionately Affected by Voter Identification Laws in 2012 Election” is the eighth in a series entitled Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics released by the Black Youth Project.

Click Here for the Full Analysis