Attorney General Tom Horne accused the Obama administration Tuesday of trying to thwart Arizona's voter-ID laws in a bid to get more illegal immigrants to the polls - presumably to cast ballots for the president and Democrats. (Capital Media Services)
Here's what's being said about voter-ID laws fashioned after or similar to Arizona's.
The (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) Times Leader: Voter ID law would hamper, rather than help, process
THE QUESTION “Who should vote?” has been a recurrent one throughout American history, and since 1776, it’s been most frequently answered “As many citizens as possible,” which meant extending the franchise to include more people.
At the time of the Declaration of Independence, only white males who were at least 21 years of age and had property or wealth of a specified value could vote. By 2000, any citizen, regardless of race or gender or financial circumstances, at least 18 years old could vote. The states, which establish nearly all voting criteria, continue to bar convicted felons and the mentally challenged from the polling booth.
More recently, however, a number of states have adopted rules that require citizens to present a valid photo identification card (e.g. a driver’s license, passport, etc.) to register to vote and/or to cast a ballot. Twelve states currently require a photo ID to vote and 13 more, including Pennsylvania, have bills pending in their legislatures. The principal reason offered by the bills’ sponsors, predominantly Republicans, is to protect the election process from fraudulent voting. But an unintended consequence of more stringent requirements to register and vote might be to limit access to the franchise.
The Wall Street Journal: The Case for Voter ID
On Thursday, the Wisconsin legislature sent a bill requiring photographic identification for voting to Gov. Scott Walker's desk. This follows the enactment of an even stricter law in Kansas a few weeks ago.
Other states are moving in the same direction. The Texas legislature sent a photo-ID bill to Gov. Rick Perry's desk last Monday. And next year Missouri voters will get a chance to vote on a photo-ID requirement.
Immediately after the Kansas law was signed in April, critics cried foul. They argued that voter fraud isn't significant enough to warrant such steps, that large numbers of Americans don't possess photo IDs, and that such laws will depress turnout among the poor and among minorities. They are wrong on all three counts.
Seattle Weekly, The Daily Weekly: Eastern Washington May Get Its Own Latino Legislative District
The ACLU has tallied the number of Latino residents in eastern Washington and decided that there are enough to warrant a whole new legislative district.
The effort is interesting for many reasons. Not the least of which being the dichotomy it points out between voting legislative efforts in the states.
While red states like Arizona, Wisconsin, and Alaska are passing voter-ID laws--which are essentially nothing more than clever schemes to make it harder for young people and minorities (i.e. Latinos) to vote--blue states like Washington are looking to give Latinos their own legislative districts.
(Columbia, S.C.) Free Times: Busy Legislative Session Had Wins for Dems and GOP Alike
One of the last actions South Carolina senators took before adjourning this year was sending a shot across the bow — and across the hall — to their colleagues in the House of Representatives. By voting to abolish leadership political action committees, which are piles of special interest cash amassed by committee chairmen to wield power and influence over other legislators (and that only exist in the lower chamber), the Senate raised a middle finger along with a goodbye wave to the 119th legislative session.
It was also fitting, as this year marked the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in a state that played a complicated role in the portion of American history when the country was split in two.
Indeed, legislation debated this year even harkened back to that time, like bills aiming to create a special state currency, lawmakers memorializing states’ rights and the House passing a “repeal amendment” that would allow states to claw back a federal law if two-thirds of state legislatures felt it was overreaching. A voter photo ID bill also passed the General Assembly that critics believe bears the fingerprints of Jim Crow. A tough Arizona-style bill cracking down on anti-illegal immigration also passed.