Dishonesty of Voter ID Laws

01 October 2013 |permalink | email article

The Justice Department on Monday sued North Carolina over the state’s restrictive new voting law, which requires photo identification for in-person voting and cuts back on early voting and same-day registration—all of which will disproportionately affect black voters. The suit, which follows similar litigation against Texas, is the latest effort by the department to go after voting discrimination in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in June striking down part of the Voting Rights Act. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. called the North Carolina law “an intentional attempt to break a system that was working,” and said that it was clearly intended to discriminate on the basis of race. But North Carolina and Texas represent only one front in the continuing battle to protect voting rights. The 1993 law, formally known as the National Voter Registration Act, established a uniform federal form that requires only that voters attest under penalty of perjury that they are citizens. The form, which states must “accept and use” when people apply for a driver’ license, has helped millions of Americans register to vote.

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