Eight US civil rights groups asked the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for their help to send international observers to monitor the upcoming US presidential election slated for November, expressing concern over the exclusion of millions of Americans from elections.
The civil rights groups, which include the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), went to the OSCE, and said that they are worried that Americans who are young, elderly, poor, or of a minority race could be unable to cast their ballot due to new voter ID laws across 17 states, Russia Today reported.
The US states that they were most concerned about included Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Texas and Wisconsin. The groups have asked the OSCE to send its observers to these states.
The controversial new voter ID laws could prevent 11 percent of the eligible voters across 10 states from voting, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.
The states with the new ID laws hold 127 electoral votes (nearly half of the 270 required to win the election).
The Brennan Center study concludes that if these laws truly keep such a large percentage of Americans from voting, they could have a “major impact on the outcome”.
A study by the University of Chicago and Washington University found that under the new laws, as many as 700,000 minorities under the age of 30 would be ineligible to vote.
“If young people really have valid IDs at a rate of only 25 or even 50 percent, the number of young people of color disenfranchised will be even greater than what we estimate,” an expert on young and minority voters who worked on the study, Cathy Cohen said.
Civil rights groups have also cited concerns that voter ID laws could keep disabled and women voters from casting their ballots.