(Providence Journal) — When a voter ID bill passed in Rhode Island last week, longtime opponents were stunned. How could this happen in one of the country’s most Democratic and liberal states? Why did Democratic leaders and black legislators support it? And why did Governor Chafee sign it? Some say black politicians were trying to protect themselves from Hispanics’ growing political power — two longtime black legislators were defeated by Hispanics in the 2010 elections. Some cite illegal immigration as a driving force. Some say voter ID is simply essential. Whatever the reason, people are still seething a week later. That includes many within the minority community, who chide Chafee for saying he was compelled by concerns from the “minority community” about voter fraud.
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