Team Obama Tackles Voter ID Laws State by State

Team Obama Tackles Voter ID Laws State by State

Volunteers and aides must learn how to comply with new voting laws.

Published May 1, 2012

President Obama’s re-election team has come up with a strategy to deal with voter ID laws that threaten to make it more difficult to register new voters and for people in certain demographic groups to cast ballots: Deal with it.

Field workers were deployed to different states last weekend to learn the ins and outs of the new rules so they can successfully register new voters before November and ensure that they’ve got the requisite ID, The New York Times reports.

The efforts vary from state to state. In Wisconsin, campaign voter registration aides trained volunteers on how to comply with a new rule that they get deputized in whichever precinct they’re assigned to in order to register voters. In Ohio, voters need to know which precinct they vote in because of a law that discourages precinct workers to redirect them if they show up at the wrong polling place.

Volunteers also canvassed Pennsylvania neighborhoods to pass out information about the state’s new voter ID law. And in Florida, volunteers and campaign staffers must attend mandatory sessions on the new laws and pass a test administered by the campaign before they can begin registering voters. But not until they thoroughly understand the process for turning in new registration forms within the state’s new 48-hour deadline.

“This is the reality,” campaign field director Jeremy Bird told The Times. “We are going to make sure that we have a very tight, very sophisticated program to follow that law.”

Voter ID laws in some of the states, including Florida and Wisconsin, face legal challenges, but there’s no guarantee they will be overturned. Bird said the campaign is working on the assumption that they’ll be upheld but won’t let them stop them from “doing what we need to do.”

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(Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Written by Joyce Jones

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