Florida will become the latest battleground in the national fight voter ID on Thursday, when a federal judge will hear a suit brought by Rock the Vote and other civic groups over new restrictions. “In states around the country, we’re witnessing the most significant assault on voting rights in a generation,” said Heather Smith, President of Rock the Vote, which encourages political participation. “It’s incredibly anti-American and undemocratic,” she said on a conference call with reporters Wednesday.
In the past year, 15 states have enacted new laws dealing with voting access, according to Rock the Vote. In January of this year, new laws went into effect in Kansas, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Texas that require voters to present a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. The flurry of legislation at the state level has been challenged both by the Obama administration and other civic groups across the country.
In December, the Justice Department rejected South Carolina’s new requirement of photo IDs at the polling booth. Since the state has a history of discrimination with regards to voting, the state was mandated to submit changes in voting procedures to the Justice Department or a court for clearance under the Voting Rights Act. The Sunshine State will be the latest jurisdiction to see a face-off between those who seek to make more restrictive voting procedures to combat voter fraud and those who aspire to make voting more accessible.
Full Article: Florida voter restrictions challenged – POLITICO.com.