If it’s presidential campaign season, it must be time for another furor over voter fraud and voter suppression. As the Democrats did in 2008, they are again charging that Republicans are trying to use photo identification laws and other changes in election laws to winnow out would-be Democratic voters.
The difference this time: six more states have enacted laws, or strengthened their existing laws, requiring voters to show a form of photo identification such as a driver’s license in order to cast a ballot. The standout among the new voter ID states: Wisconsin, which may have a recall election next year for Republican Gov. Scott Walker. It also has a marquee Senate race and will likely be a battleground in the presidential race.
Last week Democratic National Committee chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz launched a new mobilization effort, saying, “Republicans across the country have engaged in a full-scale attack on the right to vote, seeking ways to restrict or limit voters’ ability to cast their ballots for their own partisan advantage.”
The strategy, she contended, disproportionally affects African-Americans, Latinos, and young people and could “skew the 2012 presidential election in the Republicans’ favor.”
Assistant Attorney for Civil Rights Thomas Perez said last week that Justice Department lawyers are reviewing some of the recently-enacted state laws to ensure that they comply with the Voting Rights Act and do not have “a racially discriminatory purpose or discriminatory effect.”