Democrats said Thursday they are planning a major effort to protect voting rights in the 2012 election after several states passed voter identification laws and restrictions on early voting and same day registration. Concerned over what they call voter suppression efforts in states, party officials said they were organizing on a number of fronts to overturn some of the measures, educate voters on the types of documents necessary to vote and pursue lawsuits if necessary.
“We have a history of challenging these matters in court if need be. We’ll be more than prepared to continue that into the future,” said Will Crossley, the Democratic National Committee’s counsel and director of voter protection.
Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin have passed laws this year that allow voters without the required photo ID to cast provisional ballots, but the voters must return to a specific location with that ID within a certain time limit for their ballots to count. Efforts to restrict early voting have been approved in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Party officials contend blacks, Hispanics, senior citizens and the poor are less likely to have required photo IDs and worry that the laws could lead to some voters being disenfranchised if they fail to carry an ID with them. They said early voting among black voters was key to Barack Obama’s success in the 2008 election in North Carolina and Florida and could complicate efforts there next year.
“We’re aggressively engaged in making sure that we help voters move these obstacles and barriers that are being put in their way that are essentially designed to rig an election when Republicans can’t win these elections on the merits,” said Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC head.
Full Article: Democrats Planning Major Effort To Counter Voter ID Laws.