Project Wonderful

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Today In Voter Suppression: Voter ID Debate Still Goin' Strong

When I presented my Op-Ed on Section 5 to my Policy Writing class one of my classmates responded, "I kind of thought all of this was resolved when Obama won re-election." Lest I catch any of you making similarly ill-informed statements, here are just a few of the things going on with Voter ID laws across our great country:

Virginia: Senate Bill 719 and House Bill 1337, which passed the Senate and House of Delegates on largely party line votes, will severely restrict the number of acceptable forms of voter identification. The laws will take effect in 2014.

Maine: An independent panel formed by a Republican official and charged with examining Maine's electoral system has concluded that the state should not a implement voter ID system. "The issue of voter ID became a hot topic in Maine in November, when outgoing Republican Party Chair Charlie Webster claimed that part of the reason Republicans lost their races was because black voters cast ballots in rural Maine towns...Webster later apologized."

Indiana: Under proposed House Bill 1311, students who pay out-of-state tuition would not be able to vote in Indiana.

Missouri: "The Missouri House is set to again consider legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls...The state Supreme Court struck down a 2006 photo ID law before it went into effect, and the GOP-controlled Legislature's efforts to push through a similar requirement in 2011 fizzled with a gubernatorial veto and a court challenge. Lawmakers also proposed, but failed to pass, a photo ID bill last year. This session, Republicans have returned to Jefferson City with veto-proof majorities in both the House and Senate and are pushing the effort again."

New Hampshire: A bill to repeal the new voter photo identification law drew support Tuesday at a public hearing. Lawmakers last year approved a photo ID bill just months before the primary election that required voters to show a variety of photo IDs in order to vote in last November’s election. However, beginning in September, the list of acceptable photo IDs narrows to state or federally issued IDs.

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