Twelve years after disputes about hanging chads and butterfly ballots cast doubt on the credibility of the outcome of a presidential election, the integrity of the election process again has become a partisan issue. If the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney is a close one, look for the losing side to blame the outcome on either fraud or voter suppression. At this point the latter looks to be the bigger problem.
Precipitating this debate is a spate of new state laws requiring photo IDs at polling places. Not content to mount legal challenges to such controversial laws, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. has taken to the hustings to denounce them, arguing that they disproportionately suppress the votes of minorities, the poor and the elderly. Departing from his prepared remarks in a speech to the NAACP last week, Holder compared photo ID requirements to the notorious poll taxes of the Jim Crow era, which were used to prevent blacks from voting until they were finally abolished in federal elections by the 24th Amendment. Republicans who have been the principal advocates of photo ID laws insist that they are simply trying to prevent election fraud.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment