National: Democrats see election laws as revival of poll tax and threat to democratic process |

A wave of state election laws poses the single greatest threat to democracy and civil rights in generations, a number of House Democratic leaders charged Monday. The lawmakers said the reform laws — including new voter ID and registration requirements — are politically motivated efforts from Republicans to suppress voter turnout, particularly in minority communities that tend to vote Democratic. They compare the new mandates to the poll taxes adopted by Southern states to discourage African-Americans from voting after the Civil War.

“We know that voter suppression has been taking place, is [taking] place and is planned [to affect the next election],” Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), the Democratic whip, said Monday during a Capitol Hill hearing on the new laws. “We are witnessing a concerted effort to place new obstacles in front of minorities, low-income families and young people who seek to exercise their right to vote.

Tennessee: Some Congressional Leaders Speak Against Voter ID Law |

Just months after a new Voter ID law was passed, some US Congressional leaders say it’s not too late for the state leaders to reverse what they call a step backwards in voting rights. Reverend Emanuel Cleaver, II is one of many US Congressmen disturbed by the new voter ID law in Tennessee that goes into effect in a matter of weeks. Meant to prevent voter fraud, Cleaver believes it’s only preventing voting.

The head of the Congressional Black Caucus Emanuel Cleaver was in Nashville Sunday delivering a sermon at a local church and also his strong opinions about Tennessee’s voter ID law and why he says it needs to be repealed in January. Cleaver gave the sermon at Spruce Street Baptist Church in Nashville Sunday morning. While he didn’t talk politics during the service, he was happy to give his opinions afterwards.

National: Emanuel Cleaver, Artur Davis Spar Over Voter ID Laws | Roll Call

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) criticized former Rep. Artur Davis today for his recent support of voter ID laws, saying that his changed stance has led to speculation that the Alabama Democrat is considering becoming a Republican.

“I don’t know why Artur Davis … wrote what he did,” Cleaver said about an opinion column by Davis that appeared last week in the Montgomery Advertiser. Davis wrote in support of voter ID laws like the one in his native Alabama and alleged that voter fraud is widespread in parts of the black community.

“I saw it and was frustrated by it,” Cleaver said. “I don’t know what that’s all about. There are some people [who] believe he’s getting ready to switch parties. I have no idea. Needless to say, he doesn’t confide in the CBC.”