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The Champion

March 2013 , Page 52 

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Law Student Essay Competition

By Sally Tyler

State Voter ID Laws And the Challenge To Democracy

Editor’s Note: NACDL’s Diversity Task Force sponsored a law student essay contest. The task force asked students to discuss voter ID laws and whether they are being used to disenfranchise citizens from exercising their right to vote. Congratulations to Ojoke Oyegunle (first prize), Preston Smith (second prize), and Sally Tyler (honorable mention). The first and second place essays will be published in an upcoming issue of The Champion.

Voting restrictions engendered by the proliferation of new voter ID laws in states across the country could systematically suppress the vote of millions of otherwise eligible citizens. The impact of these laws falls disproportionately on people of color and low-income individuals, and carries a profound significance for 21st century civil society that should trouble all Americans.

Lawmakers introduced photo ID bills in 37 state legislatures in the 2011 and 2012 sessions. This includes new pho

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