HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) — A majority of Latino registered voters support photo ID laws that will be in effect in eleven states this year despite ongoing controversy on this issue.

There is broad support among Latino registered voters for voter photo ID laws with 71 percent favoring them, which is nearly as high of a share as the general public (77 percent), according to a recent Pew Hispanic Center survey.

This year 11 states—Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Tennessee—have such laws in effect. Together, these states are home to 15 percent of all Latino eligible voters.

According to the new survey, fully 97 percent of all Latino registered voters—as well as a nearly identical 95 percent of Latino registered voters in those 11 states—say they are confident they have the identification they will need to vote on Election Day.

With the turnout rate of eligible Latinos voters historically lagging behind that of other groups, the new survey finds that 77 percent of Latino registered voters say they are “absolutely certain” they will vote this year. By comparison, 89 percent of all registered voters say the same in a separate Pew Research Center survey (2012) of the general public taken at the same time.

The Latino electorate is growing in size and importance. Today some 23.7 million Hispanics are eligible to vote, an increase of more than 4 million since 2008. Hispanics now account for a record 11 percent of the nation’s eligible electorate, up from 9.5 percent in 2008.

This change in the American electorate spells great news for President Obama and the Democrats in this year’s election.

Latino registered voters prefer President Barack Obama over Republican challenger Mitt Romney by 69 percent to 21 percent and express growing satisfaction with the direction of the nation and the state of their personal finances.

Obama’s current lead over Romney among Hispanics has barely budged throughout the 2012 campaign and is larger than in the 2008 election, when he received 67 percent of the Hispanic vote to 31 percent for Republican John McCain.

The new survey also finds a sharp rise in the past year in the share of Latinos who identify the Democratic Party as the one that has more concern for Latinos. Some 61 percent say this now, up from 45 percent in 2011. Just 10 percent say this about the Republican Party, down from 12 percent in 2011.


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