Democrats allied with Hillary Rodham Clinton have filed a voting rights lawsuit in Virginia, the third time they have done so in a crucial presidential battleground state in the last two months. The suit, like the others, was filed by Marc Elias, a Democratic election lawyer whose clients include Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign and four of the party’s major national committees. Mrs. Clinton is not a party to any of the lawsuits, but her campaign aides have expressed supported for the two earlier suits, in Ohio and Wisconsin. The Virginia lawsuit is part of a broader effort by Democrats to try to roll back voting laws that have been passed in nearly two dozen states since 2010. Many of the laws were passed in states where Republican governors and legislatures rose to power after the Tea Party wave.
The Virginia action, described by the California-based election law expert Richard L. Hasen on his website, Election Law Blog, is primarily based on the state’s voter identification law. The plaintiffs — which include the Virginia Democratic Party — argue the law will suppress turnout, particularly among blacks and Hispanics, the poor and college students.
Republicans have argued that the spate of new laws were important added protections against election fraud. They dismiss the Democratic lawsuits as publicity stunts to energize minority voters in support of Democratic candidates.