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Disenfranchisement or disfranchisement is the revocation of the right of suffrage (the right to vote) to a person or group of people, or rendering a person's vote less effective, or ineffective. Disfranchisement might occur explicitly through law, or implicitly by intimidation.
21st Century Voter Disenfranchisement: By the Numbers
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, while claiming to target immigrants who vote illegally, efforts to require proof of citizenship for voting could disenfranchise millions of U.S. citizens — primarily low-income, African-American, elderly, female and college-age voters.
7: Percentage of voting-age Americans who lack ready access to citizenship documents (at least 13 million people).
12: Percentage of voting-age citizens with incomes less than $25,000 per year who lack ready access to citizenship documents.
66: Percentage of voting-age women with proof of citizenship who have a document with current legal name. At least 32 million women may have proof of citizenship documents that do not reflect their current name.
11: Percentage of voting-age U.S. citizens who lack valid, government-issued photo ID.
18: Percentage of elderly U.S. citizens who lack a valid, government-issued photo ID.
25: Percentage of voting-age African-Americans who do not have a valid, government-issue photo ID.
8: Percentage of voting-age whites who do not have valid, government issued photo ID.
15: Percentage of voting-age U.S. citizens earning less than $35,000 per year who do not have valid, government-issued photo ID.
10: Percentage of voting-age citizens whose photo ID does not have their current address and legal name.
18: Percentage of voting-age citizens age 18 to 24 who do not have photo ID with current address and name.
Source: Brennan Center for Justice
Disenfranchisement by Intimidation
Disenfranchisement by intimidation is particularly common in low income areas and on college campuses. Some examples:
- The Montgomery County, Virginia the General Registrar of Elections issued a press release implying that college students who choose to register to vote at their campus address rather than their parents home address would be at risk of losing student aid.  Two days later the Montgomery County Registrar's office issued a revision of the previous message. 
- Flyers are being circulated in low income parts of Philadelphia asserting that police will be waiting at polling places prepared to arrest anyone with outstanding traffic tickets or warrants who tries to vote. 
- Rumors are circulating on Philadelphia college campuses that if a student votes using their college address, their parents will not be able to claim them as dependents on tax returns. 
- The Committee of Seventy, working to safeguard elections in Philadelphia
- ↑ Warning for College Student Voters, Inside Higher Ed.com, September 5, 2008
- ↑ Revision of Aug. 25, 2008 pronouncement and guidance for college students registering to vote in Montgomery County, Montgomery County General Registrar of Elections, August 27, 2008
- ↑ Voter Disenfranchisement, National Public Radio, October 8, 2008
- ↑ Election Myths Exposed!, The Committee of Seventy