Mr. Holder, Regarding Voter Rights, Please Be Specific




On May 30, 2012, at a meeting of the Conference of National Black Churches convened by the
Congressional Black Caucus in Washington D.C. to discuss voting laws, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “… across the country, both overt and subtle forms of discrimination remain all too common and have not yet been relegated to the pages of history.” Citing Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), Holder said that voting rights are, "under attack… [by] a eliberate and systematic attempt to prevent millions of elderly voters, young voters, students, [and] minority and low-income voters from exercising their constitutional right to engage in the democratic process."


Holder told the meeting that state laws requiring photograph identification are intended to prevent African Americans from voting because nearly one in four black people lack one.


Holder was addressing voter identification laws that several states have passed to try to update voter rolls that have been compromised by the ease with which non-citizens can register to vote, and by efforts to register ineligible voters by groups like ACORN, as well as to reduce voter fraud.


He said those things while reaffirmed the Justice Department’s commitment to the section of the Voting Rights Act which prohibits certain states from making changes to their election laws without first getting federal approval. Holder says that lawsuits brought by as many as nine states in the last two years to challenge parts of the Voting Rights Act are proof of an aggressive and determined attempt to disenfranchise millions of voters.

Here is the full
text
of Holder’s speech.

The problem with his remarks cited above, as well in his entire speech, is that it never provides SPECIFIC examples of "overt and subtle forms of discrimination." His entirespeech is filled with generalities.


The closest he comes to being specific is his referencing of fifteen Justice Department (DOJ) initiated lawsuits against states that "…fails to meet its burden of proving that a proposed voting change would not have a racially discriminatory effect…." If, as Holder suggests, any voter discrimination and/or injustice has occurred that "remain all too common, Conservative Daily News readers would lead the fight to alleviate the situation.


What has actually happened? In 2005, Indiana passed its voter ID law. AG Eric Holder warned that the law was designed to and would prevent minorities from voting. But minority voting increased. Georgia passed a similar law in 2005, and it was reinstated in 2007. Georgia experienced similar minority voting increases. So much for Holder’s credibility.


But not one word from Holder about voter fraud.


Florida has been instructed by the DOJ to stop updating its voter rolls. A letter from the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ was delivered to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, ordering Florida to stop its review of some 182,000 registered voters. The review encompassed all 67Florida counties. But because five of the counties are subject to restrictions under the Voting Rights Act, and must get DOJ pre-clearance, the entire state must stop. Florida’s elimination of non-U.S. citizens from its voter rolls is necessary to prevent voter fraud.


The Brennan Center For Justice says, quot;Every voter should demonstrate that they are who they say they are before voting. That form of proof should not include restrictive documentation requirements like overly burdensome photo ID or redundant proof of citizenship requirements that serve to block millions of eligible American citizens from voting." This is the same Brennan Center
For Justice that says voter
fraud
is both extremely rare and that raising the unsubstantiated specter of mass voter fraud suits a particular policy agenda.


Do I detect inconsistency here? If voter fraud is so rare, so unsubstantiated, then why should every voter demonstrate, as the Center suggests, who he/she is before voting? Again, no specifics, just a citation of an unsubstantiated specter of mass voter fraud.


The Center, in October, 2011, said that over 5
million people
could be denied the right to vote under new laws adopted in twelve states. The Center report said that new laws regarding photo identification requirements for voting, eliminating same day voter registration, requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote, changing requirements for voter registration drives, and reducing early voting days will make voting harder for 5 million people in the 2012 election.


The Center further comments that studies show that as many as 11 percent of eligible voters do not have
government-issued photo ID. That percentage is even higher for seniors, people of color, people with disabilities, low-income voters, and students.


By the way, this site has an up-to-date voter requirement list, what is requested/required to vote, and what non-compliance options are available.


But then, as in the South Carolina case, a photograph identification requirement in order to vote would increase the difficulty of Holder retaining his job.


So we are getting confirmation of what we already knew: that Attorney General Eric Holder is all talk!


But that’s just my opinion.











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