The Justice Department on Monday sued North Carolina over the state’s restrictive new voting law, which requires photo identification for in-person voting and cuts back on early voting and same-day registration — all of which will disproportionately affect black voters. The suit, which follows similar litigation against Texas, is the latest effort by the department to go after voting discrimination in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in June striking down part of the Voting Rights Act. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. called the North Carolina law “an intentional attempt to break a system that was working,” and he said that it was clearly intended to discriminate on the basis of race. But North Carolina and Texas represent only one front in the continuing battle to protect voting rights. Twenty years after Congress passed the “motor voter” law to make it easier for Americans to register to vote, numerous states keep trying to make it harder, relying on vague and dubious claims of voter fraud to push through misguided and harmful legislation.
… Last month, Kansas and Arizona seized on that point, and sued the federal government for refusing to add their stricter requirements to the federal form. (While Kansas permits voters who use the federal form to vote in federal elections, it stops them from voting in state and local elections if they don’t provide proof of citizenship.) Why does Kansas believe it is “necessary” to require the additional proof? The state makes broad claims that noncitizens have unlawfully registered and voted, but, as usual, there is no evidence that any significant voter fraud exists.
Meanwhile, more than 17,000 Kansans — nearly a third of all those who have registered to vote in 2013 — currently sit on a “suspense list,” prevented from voting because the state says they did not provide the required proof of citizenship. State officials have acknowledged that a majority of those on the list may be there because of confusion over conflicting state requirements.
Instead of acknowledging the seriousness of these mix-ups, Mr. Kobach called those on the list “mostly casual registrants, many of whom do not intend to vote.”
Full Article: The Dishonesty of Voter ID Laws – NYTimes.com.