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Dem pollster says stricter voter laws 'discourage' voters

Democratic pollster Pia Nargundkar said Friday that stricter voting laws can discourage voters in their effort to cast ballots. 

"If you're trying to get out to vote, and you took some time off from work or you got a babysitter for your child, and you did everything you were supposed to, and you're still not allowed to vote, that's very discouraging," Nargundkar, a senior associate at ALG Research, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons's on "What America's Thinking."

"It can be encouraging for some people who have the means to do so, but making it more difficult for citizens to vote, definitely has a suppression effect," she continued. 

Nargundkar's comments come as multiple state elections officials grapple with accusations of voter suppression.

Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and the state's Democratic Party have accused Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp of voter suppression efforts after a report emerged that 53,000 voter registration applications are on hold because they did not meet state law requiring information on the applications to exactly match that held by the government. Seventy percent of those applications are reportedly from black voters.

Abrams, who, if elected, would become the first black woman governor, said Kemp's office has worked to suppress the votes of African-Americans in the state, while Kemp has said he is acting to prevent voter fraud. 

A federal judge ruled Friday that Georgia's "exact match" rules for voter registration will not apply for next week's midterm, allowing people to vote who have seen their voter registration held up.

Texas State University students last week demanded extended voting times and more ways to vote on campus after the local GOP president reportedly urged the county to keep the university's polling location closed. Many students were reportedly angry the polling site was closed and some have accused the local GOP president of voter suppression.

 

— Julia Manchester