The voters shut out are primarily, black, poor and elderly. On the whole, 11% of eligible voters don't have updated, state issued photo IDs; the percentage rises to 25%, 15% (among those making less than $ 35 K a year) and 18% respectively. These groups are likelier to lack driver's licences, be born out of state, work multiple jobs or have disabilities, which means they cannot afford the extensive and expensive paperwork required for state IDs. Many government services have never needed state IDs, and things like employee and student cards are not accepted by many of the states' new laws.
|Texas Governor and former presidential candidate Rick Perry has declared his support for the law. His state's version would allow concealed-carry handgun licences as valid ID, but not employee or student IDs.|
By contrast, the new laws could adversely affect more than five million voters. As it is, in 2008, 2.2 million registered voters did not vote because they lacked proper ID.
|More than anything, the new laws appear to be the latest weapon in a tragically vitriolic campaign for November's elections, as if the attack ads weren't bad enough.|
|Eric Holder, who recently called the new laws 'poll taxes' , has, as Attorney General, the power to prevent the laws' implementation.|
Under the Voting Rights Act of 1964, states with a history of discrimination must obtain permission from the Department of Justice or the Appeals Court of the Washington D.C. Circuit to change election laws, and its likely both these institutions will strike down many of these laws. Still, if Republicans agree there is a crisis of faith in American politics, they should realize it is not at the ballot box, but up on Capitol Hill, where the word 'compromise' has long been forgotten.