Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) will chair a hearing next week examining the rash of voter ID laws passed by state legislatures this year amidst concerns that such laws could suppress Democratic turnout across the country.
Durbin, who chairs the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, announced Friday that the Sept. 8 hearing will feature testimony from Judith Brown Dianis, the co-director of the Advancement Project; Loyola Law School Professor Justin Levittl; and former Bush-era Justice Department official Hans van Spakovsky, who’s now with the Heritage Foundation. It’s titled “New State Voting Laws – Barriers to the Ballot?”
“These new laws significantly reduce the number of early voting days, require voters to show restrictive forms of photo identification before voting, and make it harder for volunteer organizations to register new voters,” Durbin’s office said in an announcement.
“Supporters of these laws argue that they will reduce the risk of voter fraud. The overwhelming evidence, however, indicates that voter impersonation fraud is virtually non-existent and that these new laws will make it harder for hundreds of thousands of elderly, disabled, minority, young, rural, and low income Americans to exercise their right to vote.”