Holder: US DOJ to Review State Voter ID Laws

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was in Austin, Texas Tuesday night where he promised the Justice Department's civil rights division will aggressively review new voter ID laws that civil rights advocates say will have a discriminatory impact. This puts the Justice Department smack in the middle of a growing partisan debate over civil rights and minorities' access to the ballot. Several states, including Texas, have passed new requirements requiring voters to present photo ID before casting their vote. 

Advocates of the law say it is necessary to prevent voter fraud. Texas is also dealing with a controversial redistricting plan that is headed to the Supreme Court. At the heart of the controversy is whether the states' new Congressional districts, a result of population growth recorded in the 2010 census, accurately reflect the growth in the states' minority populations.

Matt Largey, reporter for KUT, Austin Public Radio, has been covering the story.

Comments [11]

Alan from Kansas

Most under age drinkers and illegal aliens have photo IDs, so I would think flashing a convincing looking photo ID in the digital age shouldn't hold much water.

Dec. 14 2011 10:46 AM
David from Oklahoma City

In person fraud can't be found because there almost no reason for people to commit it - 5 years in jail, $10,000 fine to add one vote to election - There is no rationale or logic.

One party has a problem making their case to the voter and is trying to reduce votes from the other party.

Dec. 14 2011 10:23 AM
Kenny from Westport, MA

Bringing on Hans von Spakovsky on to talk about voting rights is like Bernie Madoff to talk about ethics. They are both on the wrong side of the issue. I'm surprised that The Takeaway would just interview Mr. Spakovsky without providing the listener any background on him. He has regularly taken positions that are anti-voter. Furthermore, his stats about Georgia are misleading and were debunked by Sen. Al Franken at a hearing earlier this year. I'm all for balance in these discussions, but Mr. Spakovsky is an extremist who pretends to be reasonable. His agenda is clear: suppress the vote.

Dec. 14 2011 09:58 AM

I thought voter fraud was done by political groups with connections inside their local elections departments. Why punish the voters?

In Miami, well-funded Hispanic politicians will literally bus seniors, naturalized citizens, to the polls and offer them meals to get them to vote. Are they buying votes? Can this be considered as voter fraud?

Dec. 14 2011 09:53 AM

Well, congratulations to The Takeaway. The last time the subject of voting reforms and the Voting Rights Act came up, I challenged the producers to please give us a balanced debate. Include someone like Hans von Spakovsky.

The Takeaway did that, and what did we get? And intelligent, pointed, informed debate that seems to have stirred the pot with public radio's reliably left-wing audience.

A nice job by John Hockenberry, and kudos to the producers for taking the suggestion.

Dec. 14 2011 09:17 AM
Mike C from Sheepshead Bay

I don't know how much having a photo ID is going to stop voter fraud, considering most of the fraud has come from the voting machines themselves as well as those that count the ballots.

Dec. 14 2011 08:23 AM
owen techman from mexico border

looks good....

voting is a "black box"... and people will always be dumbed down to thinking its science or something....

Dec. 14 2011 07:51 AM

Not convinced that there is a lot of voter fraud, but if a state thinks there is fraud and wants people to show a picture ID, why limit what kind of ID a voter needs to show? Almost everyone has a senior transit card (Here in Boston it is a picture ID), state or city issued ID, drivers license, etc. What I really object to is the requirement to get a special voter card requiring a birth certificate (some older people were born at home and don't have one) and/or travel to a specific office open only during working hours.

And has anyone thought about the fact that most people vote near home and when they go year after year to the same polling place, they are recognized and known by either the poll officials or other voters? Harder to commit fraud, I would think.

Dec. 14 2011 06:42 AM
John from Ma.

I seem to remember that the election fraud issues during the infamous Bush years were issues that pointed fingers at the political machine and NOT the voters. My question is this: WHO is keeping their eyes on the voting dirty tricks by the politicians?

Dec. 14 2011 06:39 AM
Mark from Vilnius, Lithuania

Why would money and other resources be used to actually restrict voting? Ironically, some countries which are pretty big on democracy and freedom actually are moving towards "i voting," which seems to work without problems.

Dec. 14 2011 06:38 AM
Astrid afKlinteberg

Voter Fraud=Republican Shibboleth.

Dec. 14 2011 06:31 AM

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