Republicans are continuing to push controversial laws that could limit voting and voter registration drives, even as liberal groups and Attorney General Eric Holder have suggested these provisions are likely to reduce the number of blacks and other minorities who can cast ballots.
Texas announced last week it would sue the Justice Department because it is not acting quickly enough to “pre-clear” the state’s new voting law, which would a photo identification to cast a ballot. Changes in voting rights laws in several states, mostly in the South, must be approved by the Justice Department before they go into effect under the Voting Rights Act.
The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter identification laws are constitutional,” Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a statement. “Texas should be allowed the same authority other states have to protect the integrity of elections. To fast-track that authority, Texas is taking legal action in a D.C. Court seeking approval of its voter identification law.”
South Carolina officials are preparing their own lawsuit to take on the Justice Department, which in December denied pre-clearance to their law, which would also require photo identification to vote.
And now, South Carolina State Rep. Alan Clemmons, author of the rejected voter ID bill, is pushing a proposal that would require groups that conduct get-out-the-vote operations in S.C. to register with the state’s government and pay fines if they make mistakes in voter registration.
Civil rights organizations from the ACLU to the NAACP argue these measures would disenfranchise sections of the electorate and are based on grossly exaggerated claims of voter fraud by Republicans.