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Thousands of Lawyers Prep for Voter ID Issues in Nov.

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By Deanne Katz, Esq. on June 28, 2012 9:03 AM

New Voter ID laws and other voting restrictions have raised concerns and Obama has recruited a small army of attorneys to deal with potential voter discrimination.

Since the 2008 election, a fair number of states have changed their voting requirements. Some states have put in ID requirements or ended same day voting registration. Others have added a proof of citizenship requirement and a few have restricted early and absentee voting periods.

All this will make it harder to certain groups to vote and Obama is aiming to ensure that no one is left out of the election.

The attorneys are on call to help by providing legal support during the election. They were recruited to ensure that legitimate voters aren't turned away, especially in competitive states like Florida and Ohio.

Republicans are also building a legal team to combat potential cases of voter fraud, according to Associated Press.

Some of the restrictions in place could have a disparate impact on certain groups. Obama's attorney force is intended to prevent intimidation against people who don't know their rights and may end up not voting.

If the plan works as described in the article, it could have a positive impact on overall voter turnout.

For example, homeless and extremely low-income are less likely to have a photo ID since they may not have a driver's license of state identification card. Attorneys could help them understand alternative ID options so they could still vote.

Citizenship proof requirements may drive away Latino citizens who are worried about being harassed as polling places. Attorneys could also be on hand to ensure that citizenship verification is fairly enforced for all voters, not just people of color.

Ultimately, the purpose of Obama's attorney recruits is to help voters know their rights. With the rise of Voter ID and other voting related laws, information about voter rights can be a powerful tool for increasing voter turnout.

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