by Jeremy Leaming
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice has launched investigations of efforts by a string of state governors to make voting a major difficulty for potential voters, especially minorities, the poor, students and the elderly.
Today, before the NAACP Annual Convention, Holder delved into his commitment to safeguard the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and in the process tore into the tawdry efforts by states, such as Texas, to limit the right to vote.
In prepared text of his speech, Holder focused on the onerous Texas voter ID law, which the DOJ has not granted approval of. “After close review, the Department found that this law would be harmful to minority voters – and we rejected its implementation,” Holder said.
He continued, “Under the proposed law, concealed handgun licenses would be an acceptable form of photo ID – but student IDs would not. Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them – and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them.”
According to the AP, Holder veered off script and said, “We call those poll taxes,” which are unconstitutional.
Holder added, “let me be clear: we will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”
Other Republican-controlled states like Wisconsin, Florida, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania are also working to implement harsh voter ID laws, all with the potential impact of discouraging voter turnout among minorities, students, and the elderly. Civil rights groups, such as the Brennan Center for Justice, the NAACP, the ACLU and others are working to defeat those efforts.