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Monday's Wake Up Call! GOP tightens voter ID laws
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hanna utica vote
JIM AUSTIN / Cooperstown Crier
New York 23rd Congressional District candidate Richard Hanna, R-Cooperstown, holds his son Emerson as he signs the log book before voting, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, in Cooperstown.
Feb. 20, 2012 12:01 a.m.

When you go to the polls to vote in the primary election or the general election this year, will you have to show a picture ID? More states are requiring them, according to a USA Today story on vote identification.

Here are some facts:

31 states have voter identification laws.

8 states toughened laws last year, including Kansas.

Most of the laws have been passed by Republican state governments.

Why enact such laws? To prevent voter fraud.

Why oppose such laws? They often discriminate against the poor, minorities and seniors, groups that are less likely to have a photo ID.

Here are some ideas to localize the story:

Find out where your state stands on voter ID. What's required? How long has the requirement been in place? Are state lawmakers considering stricter laws? What do local election officials think? How prevalent is voter fraud in your area?

Speak to political science professors at a local college to find out what they think about stricter voter ID laws and politicizing the issue. Do they agree that stricter laws benefit Republicans? 

Ask readers what they think in an online poll. Do they think presenting a photo ID to vote is perfectly fine? Or do they see the requirement as dscriminatory against the poor or seniors?

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