We know that, because of economic dislocation in Puerto Rico, many islanders are moving to the U.S. to work. This Spanish-speaking group are native born citizens, unequivocally eligible to vote in any state they move to. However, in states which have implemented voter ID requirements to register, they face a particular hurdle:
This could matter in Florida where many have settled, as could other obstacles:
Then we get to language issues. It used to be that under the Voting Rights Act, many jurisdictions had to provide materials in widely used languages, but the Supreme Court tossed out that requirement a couple of years ago. Election administrators are usually underfunded and overburdened. Without federal supervision, language assistance is often the first thing to go, even if there is no malice. But the effect on Latino voting is measurably large.
Election officials too often act stumped by Latino names.
Her odyssey within a culturally uncomprehending system continued for several additional rounds before she finally managed to register to vote.
Then there are the obstacles to voting created by what Salvadoran leftists taught some of us to call "strategic incompetence."
The experience of being questioned at the polls in and of itself is an obstacle to citizen participation. Who wants to risk being questioned when you try to exercise a basic right? Not many of us. The report takes up the case of Indiana which has invited partisan poll watchers to question the eligibility of voters.
Thanks to Facing South for pointing to this study.