Could fraud or suppression determine or next president?
Just before former President Bill Clinton left the stage in Charlotte, he made sure to add voting rights protection to his list of reasons to reelect President Obama.
“If you want every American to vote and you think it's wrong to change voting procedures just to reduce the turnout of younger, poorer, minority and disabled voters, you should support Barack Obama,” Clinton said as he wrapped up his speech.
It's not just Clinton. In the final hours of the Democratic convention, the Obama campaign is making voting rights enforcement a key part of the closing pitch to activists before they scatter from Charlotte.
If there's one place you'd expect to find an enthusiasm gap for Obama supporters, it'd be in Madison. But after running into weary and cynical voters in Colorado and Iowa, Wisconsin voters sounded remarkably resolved for another contest.
In reality, polling data shows widespread support for Voter ID laws. Are they all that bad?
Monday was the deadline to register to vote in the presidential primary in Pennsylvania on April 24. These primary voters will be greeted by a coming change in Pennsylvania election law. They’ll be asked to show photo ID before they cast their vote.
South Carolina is one of five states that passed new photo ID requirements for voting since the start of 2011, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (Governors vetoed similar bills in New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Minnesota.). Advocates for the bill in South Carolina, including Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, say the law is to protect the integrity of state elections. Critics, however, say that there has not been a single documented case of voter impersonation at the polls, the kind of fraud photo identification requirements will address.
Now, the Obama administration's Justice Department has weighed in, questioning whether the new law creates undue burdens minority voters. That sets up a legal confrontation about voting access and states rights that will unfold in the shadow of the 2012 presidential campaign, and directly impact who can cast a vote in South Carolina's decisive early primary elections.