Attorney General Eric Holder plans to deliver a speech on voting rights on Monday at a Martin Luther King holiday rally in South Carolina, a state where just weeks ago his Justice Department blocked a new voter identification law. Holder plans to attend a rally sponsored by the civil rights group National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at the state capitol building in Columbia, S.C., according to a statement from the NAACP.
That was where lawmakers approved the tough new law that required voters to present identification to cast a ballot, which conservatives argue is needed to help prevent voter fraud. But critics of laws like the one passed in the state argue that citizens should not have to present identification to exercise their basic right to vote, which they say is unlike requiring identification for privileges like driving.
“The photo identification law that passed through the South Carolina State House last year was an affront to the values that Dr. King stood for,” NAACP President and Chief Executive Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a statement.
Holder’s appearance will come just days before South Carolina voters go to the polls to decide on their choice for the Republican presidential nomination. The primary contest in the traditionally conservative state is on January 21.