Voter-ID Laws Stifle Registration and Voting

The New York Times Editorial Board is taking the proponents of voter-ID laws to task in a piece that delineates the judicial fights under way in North Carolina, Texas and Kansas. 

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Attorney General Eric Holder (Kris Connor/Getty Images)

The New York Times Editorial Board is taking the proponents of voter-ID laws to task in a piece that delineates the judicial fights under way in North Carolina, Texas and Kansas. The board says the proposed voter-ID laws in each state "have nothing to do with stopping the nonexistent threat of voter fraud and everything to do with making it harder for more eligible voters to register and vote."

But North Carolina and Texas represent only one front in the continuing battle to protect voting rights. Twenty years after Congress passed the "motor voter" law to make it easier for Americans to register to vote, numerous states keep trying to make it harder, relying on vague and dubious claims of voter fraud to push through misguided and harmful legislation.

The 1993 law, formally known as the National Voter Registration Act, established a uniform federal form that requires only that voters attest under penalty of perjury that they are citizens. The form, which states must "accept and use" when people apply for a driver's license, has helped millions of Americans register to vote. ...

Last month, Kansas and Arizona seized on that point, and sued the federal government for refusing to add their stricter requirements to the federal form. (While Kansas permits voters who use the federal form to vote in federal elections, it stops them from voting in state and local elections if they don't provide proof of citizenship.) ...

Kansas's law, like those the Justice Department has challenged, reveals the underlying dishonesty of voter ID laws. They have nothing to do with stopping the nonexistent threat of voter fraud and everything to do with making it harder for more eligible voters to register and vote.

Read the New York Times' Editorial Board's entire piece at the New York Times.    

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