Up to 10 million Hispanics could be dissuaded from voting in the upcoming election because of changes to voting laws, a report from a civil rights group will say.
The Advancement Project says in a report to be released tomorrow that restrictions in 23 states -- such as photo identification laws, requirements to prove citizenship and attempts to remove non-citizens from voter rolls in states such as Florida -- will have a "disproportionate effect" on Latinos and people of color.
"The pattern is unmistakable," says Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project. "State after state has moved to obstruct the ability of millions of Latino citizens to participate in our democracy."
She said these voting laws impair "the fundamental American value of ensuring all citizens have an equal voice."
Pennsylvania's voter ID law, the subject of intense debate, is making its way through the courts.
President Obama won 67% of the Hispanic vote in 2008, according to exit polls. Obama has a 68%-26% advantage over Romney among Hispanic voters, according to the latest ImpreMedia/Latino Decisions tracking poll.
Hispanic voters could make the margin of difference in a tight presidential race, especially in battlegrounds such as Colorado, Florida and Nevada where the Latino population has grown. The Advancement Project estimates there could be 25 million Hispanic voters -- making up 12.2% of the nation's total eligible voters.
The report from the civil rights group, "Segregating American Citizenship: Latino Voter Disenfranchisement in 2012," will be released tomorrow.
By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY