Four months away from a presidential election still considered a tossup, new battles are brewing over state election laws. A federal court in Washington began hearing arguments this week on whether a voter ID law in Texas discriminates against Hispanic voters. Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a bill last week that would have required voters to show identification before casting absentee ballots. The Justice Department rejected South Carolina’s voter ID law for the second time, saying it could disproportionately affect black voters. The state sued earlier this year. A federal court has scheduled oral arguments for Sept. 24, just 43 days before the election. A judge ruled in June that Wisconsin’s voter ID law violates the state constitution. An appeal is likely. Attorney General Eric Holder is promising an aggressive effort to safeguard voting rights.
“The arc of American history has always moved toward expanding the electorate,” Holder said Tuesday at the NAACP convention in Houston. “It is what has made this nation exceptional. We will simply not allow this era to be the beginning of the reversal of that historic progress.” The Obama administration and national civil rights groups say state laws that require people to show government-issued photo IDs at the polls could deny millions of them — mostly minorities and the elderly, who are more likely to lack such IDs — the right to vote.
Full Article: Debate intensifies over state election laws – USATODAY.com.