Tags: voter | id | challenges | November

New Voter ID Laws Could Be Blocked in November

Thursday, 07 Jun 2012 01:15 PM

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Voter ID laws passed in states across the country may not be in play in the November elections as a result of legal challenges. The Justice Department and civil rights groups are challenging the provisions and some have been blocked by federal judges, The Washington Post reported.

The laws in question generally place limits on early voting, require identification before voting and seek to clear voter rolls of those not eligible to vote such as non-citizens.

“There has been a real push-back by the courts to these widespread efforts to restrict the vote,” Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, told the Post. “If those seeking to suppress the vote won round one, round two seems to be going to the voters.”

New voter ID laws were introduced in 34 states last year and passed in four, Kansas, Mississippi, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. Voter ID laws were also toughened in Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas with provisions that voters must have a photo ID, the Post reported.

However, judges in Wisconsin have ruled the voter ID law unconstitutional and the Justice Department has challenged ID laws in South Carolina and Texas under provisions of the Voting Rights Act. The move could delay the laws from going into effect until after the elections, according to the Post.

The ACLU and other civil rights groups have sued to stop a voter ID law in Pennsylvania and a trial is set July, according to the Post.

Florida, a key battleground state, also passed several voting laws under challenge. A federal judge has thrown out a provision that groups registering voters submit the registration cards within 48 hours or face steep fines, the Post reported. The Justice Department is also challenging state efforts to remove noncitizens from voter lists.


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