Holder Signals Tough Review of New State Laws on Voting

Charlie Savage, New York Times, December 13, 2011

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday entered the turbulent political waters of voting rights, signaling that the Justice Department would be aggressive in reviewing new voting laws that civil rights advocates say will dampen minority participation in next year’s elections.

Declaring in a speech that protecting ballot access for all eligible voters “must be viewed not only as a legal issue but as a moral imperative,” Mr. Holder urged Americans to “call on our political parties to resist the temptation to suppress certain votes in the hope of attaining electoral success and, instead, achieve success by appealing to more voters.”

The speech by Mr. Holder could inflame a smoldering partisan dispute over race and ballot access as the 2012 campaign cycle intensifies. It comes as the Justice Department’s civil rights division is scrutinizing a series of new state voting laws that were enacted–largely by Republican officials–in the name of fighting fraud.

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Mr. Holder also laid out a case for replacing the “antiquated” voter registration system by automatically registering all eligible voters; for barring state legislators from gerrymandering their own districts, and for creating a federal statute prohibiting the dissemination of fraudulent information to deceive people into not voting.

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This year, more than a dozen states enacted new voting restrictions. For example, eight–Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin–imposed new laws requiring voters to present state-issued photo identification cards. Previously voters were able to use other forms of identification, like bank statements, utility bills and Social Security cards.

{snip} Opponents–mostly Democrats–say there is no evidence of meaningful levels of fraud and contend that the measures are a veiled effort to suppress participation by hundreds of thousands of eligible voters who lack a driver’s license.

{snip}

Mr. Holder also singled out litigation with Florida over a new state law restricting the availability of early voting–including banning it on the Sunday before Election Day, when black churches traditionally follow services with get-out-the-vote efforts. {snip}

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In 2008, the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law requiring voters to present photo ID cards, ruling that the state’s interest in preventing fraud outweighed the burdens the law placed on voters. That case, however, was based on the Constitution’s equal-protection clause and did not address the different standards imposed by the Voting Rights Act.

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  • Anonymous

    Hello. I am a Canadian and once more I am baffled by the USA. Americans don’t have to show photo-identification to vote? This sounds bizarre! You certainly do have to show it here in Canada to vote. And why is showing a passport, driver’s license, or age of majority card controversial in order to vote?

  • Question Diversity

    Mr. Holder also laid out a case for replacing the “antiquated” voter registration system by automatically registering all eligible voters

    Getting as many people as possible registered to vote that would not otherwise do so left to their own prerogative is the brass ring of voter fraud. The more registered names there are on the ballot, the more often that registered but non-voting people wind up “voting” anyway, mainly as a result of ballot box stuffing after hours.

    Opponents—mostly Democrats—say there is no evidence of meaningful levels of fraud and contend that the measures are a veiled effort to suppress participation by hundreds of thousands of eligible voters who lack a driver’s license.

    Fail. If you don’t have the ID, you can still vote using a yellow provisional ballot. The catch is that the election board will follow up, making sure you are who you say you are, your age is what you claim, and your residence is what you claim, before they count your ballot. Ergo, yellow provisional ballots are not conducive to voter fraud.

    In 2008, the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law requiring voters to present photo ID cards, ruling that the state’s interest in preventing fraud outweighed the burdens the law placed on voters. That case, however, was based on the Constitution’s equal-protection clause and did not address the different standards imposed by the Voting Rights Act.

    Except that the 14th Amendment is in the Constitution, and the VRA is legislation. The Supreme Court did the logical thing, they based the constitutionality of something based on the language in and the intent of the Constitution, not statutory law.

    BTW, if you don’t have a photo ID in this day and age, it probably means you don’t want one, and the most likely reason you wouldn’t want one is if you’re trying to live on the lam, and/or you know your particular career and lifestyle choices are blatantly illegal. Anyone who expects to live a functional above board existence today is going to have photo ID.

  • HH

    What a disgrace! Our litmus test for any and all policies and laws in formerly White countries is whether or not they are perceived to impact non-whites negatively, never mind whether or not they are sensible, or benefit the population on the whole! It’s ALL about the Black and Brown – Whites be damned!

    What lovely country…

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure Holder will send his Black Panther friends and allies to police the polling place again with weapons. We should peacfully stand by and watch that.

  • Cogitator

    Voters without a valid identification are more likely to be black or Hispanic. Blacks because they are too lazy to do so, and Hispanics because they cannot. Demographics show these people usually vote for Democrats. That is the only reason Holder wants to see them vote. If he thought they would vote Republican, he wouldn’t care what obstacles they faced.

  • AvgDude

    Yep, asking for ID in order to prevent vote fraud is a violation of the Voting Rights Act… But waving a club around and calling voters “Crackers” and “White Trash” is just a-okay; so long as you’re black.

    This country is so screwed up.

  • Greg

    To anonymous in Canada.

    Because of the Democratic party and their cohorts in the media. Voter fraud (particularly in minority-heavy urban demographic areas) is ubiquitous and well-known. The marxists claim voter fraud is non-existent, but this was easily rebutted by Kris Kobach of my home state whom we elected to Sec. of State by a large margin. Without the illegal immigrant and felon vote, would Obama had won Indiana or N. Carolina? I doubt it, and he may have lost Florida as well.

    The ugly secret is that the voter fraud that is committed in this country is one-way. Thus to Obama any regulations that help enforce voter fraud will only hurt him and his party. Interestingly, Obama doesn’t think you should have to show ID to prove you are a citizen in order to vote but believes you can be held indefintely (which clearly violates the 6th amendment). He’s done if real Americans wake up.

  • Pasto

    This behavior is what the rebellion against reconstruction was all about and led to the segregation of jim crow and now it is jim snow to be snubbed,

    the gaul you see and resentment you feel is what led the south to flee the slave descendants and their african big man politics.

    but now they control atlanta, detroit, typical african states.

  • rjp

    Opponents—mostly Democrats—say there is no evidence of meaningful levels of fraud and contend that the measures are a veiled effort to suppress participation by hundreds of thousands of eligible voters who lack a driver’s license.

    Which is why there are state issued ID cards.

    Just make the state issued ID cards FREE and issue them through the DHS as well as the DMV. While it is more welfare, it kills the complaint.

  • sbuffalonative

    And why is showing a passport, driver’s license, or age of majority card controversial in order to vote?

    Because it’s considered ‘racist’ to expect non-whites to provide any proof of eligibility to vote.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Holder stated: “rights are under attack by a deliberate and systematic attempt to prevent millions of voters from exercising their constitutional right to engage in democracy.”

    Non-White voters are too stupid, according to Holder and the NYT, to get an ID to vote, but these the same “millions of people” seem to be able to produce a photo ID when it comes times to collect food stamps!!

    What’s next Holder? Are you gonna blame the Republicans, for preventing dead democrats from voting?

    This is about Holder trying to direct attention away from Fast & Furious with the complicity of (what else) the NYT.

    Voting right? For Holder that includes black thugs intimidating White voters at the polls with clubs and threats.

    Does Holder deserve another term? YES, in San Quentin! 25 years to life.

    Bon

  • john

    The simple unvarnished truth is that without massive voter fraud the Democrats could never win another national election. It’s ubiquitous in all big-city precincts.

    I’m surprised Holder and friends don’t promise free bottles of pop-wine to all voters throughout the inner-city precincts, one for each visit to the polling places.

  • Allan

    Harry Truman had a sign on his desk which said, “The buck stops here.” I suspect Holder and Obama have signs on their desks which say, “The buck stops THERE.” Just deny they are responsible for anything, and that let them off the hook.

  • The Bobster

    And why is showing a passport, driver’s license, or age of majority card controversial in order to vote?

    _________

    The only programs that are “controversial” are the ones the libtarded MSM oppose, even if over 70% of Americans support them.

  • Alexandra

    Here in Ohio, each precinct has a list of voters. You show your ID and sign next to your listing. Then you can vote.

    Maybe Mr. “My People” thinks his people should vote early and vote often….

  • WR the elder

    Having to show photo ID is a violation of the Voting Rights Act.

    Having New Black Panthers with billy clubs intimidate white voters at the polls is not a violation of the Voting Rights Act.

    That was a great choice for attorney general, Barack Obama. An excellent reason to never vote for a black Democrat.

  • Anonymous

    In California, you can easily vote through the mail or internet. It is like voting in a Foxnews poll (except for the Americans always lose in CA polls).

  • Hunter Morrow

    To hell with an ID card and this goes beyond race as well. This goes to intelligence. The ID should just be one part of a four part system. ID, poll tax, IQ test and a Civics 101 exam before voting. If you don’t have the ID then you aren’t honest enough. If you don’t have the money then you don’t care enough. If you don’t have the IQ then you aren’t smart enough. If you don’t have the Civics 101 then you aren’t informed enough.

    Do you think that would have a “disparate impact?”

    It would keep the riff raff from voting.

  • Frank

    Art. I, Sec. 4 of the Constitution states that the manner of holding elections for congress shall be prescribed by the legislature of each State. Requiring I.D. is certainly within the meaning of that provision. Perhaps Holder can find a dusty copy of the Constitution in the DOJ, if he has not burned them all. He might even give Obama a copy. There is only one real reason to oppose voter I.D. laws and everyone knows what that is.