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The Battle Over Voter ID

With Wade Goodwyn in for Tom Ashbrook.

Pollsters say new voting restrictions could be the difference in some swing states.

A sign concerning today's elections is pictured on a bulletin board in an empty polling place during early voting at the Oklahoma County Board of Elections in Oklahoma City, Monday, Aug 8, 2011. The election for a vacant Senate seat that includes portions of southern Oklahoma County and northern Cleveland County is the first state election since nearly 75 percent of Oklahoma voters approved the voter ID law in November. (AP)

A sign concerning today’s elections is pictured on a bulletin board in an empty polling place during early voting at the Oklahoma County Board of Elections in Oklahoma City, Monday, Aug 8, 2011. The election for a vacant Senate seat that includes portions of southern Oklahoma County and northern Cleveland County is the first state election since nearly 75 percent of Oklahoma voters approved the voter ID law in November. (AP)

Voter ID laws. It’s become a hot battle in the federal courts as we head toward November.  11 state legislatures, nearly all Republican, have passed stricter laws requiring voters to present identification at the polls in the last two years. Republicans say the new laws are necessary to prevent possible voter fraud.

Democrats respond it’s a solution in search of a problem, there’s no evidence of fraud except on the smallest of scales.  The House majority leader in Pennsylvania bragged publicly that new voter ID laws will deliver his state to Romney.   

This hour, On Point: Voter ID, needed authentication or voter suppression?

-Wade Goodwyn

Guests

Ethan Bronner, reporter for the New York Times, his recent article on voter ID laws is here.

Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow and manager of the Civil Justice Reform Initiative at the Heritage Foundation.

Lawrence Norden, deputy director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program.

From The Reading List

Philadelphia Inquirer “Today’s protest, sponsored by the Pennsylvania NAACP, almost certainly will fire up racial themes since many charge the voter ID is a GOP plan to surpress African-American votes in a year the nation’s first African-American president seeks reelection.”

Talking Points Memo “Additionally, DOJ requested information on the state’s efforts to educate voters about the new law as well as documents and records supporting a March 14 statement from the office of Gov. Tom Corbett (R) which claimed “99 percent of Pennsylvania’s already have acceptable photo IDs.” (The state’s own data did not support that figure.) Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez requested Pennsylvania send the information to federal authorities within 30 days.”

The New York Times “Four years ago as Viviette Applewhite, now 93, was making her way through her local Acme supermarket, her pocketbook hanging from her shoulder, a thief sliced the bag from its straps.” 

 

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