Yesterday members of the U.S. House of Representatives took to the floor to decry the voter suppression legislation that is being debated and passed in states across the country and urge the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take action against them.
Now that South Carolina has submitted the photo voter ID law it adopted this year to DOJ for preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, you have a chance to stand with these members and speak out for voting rights.
What are the basic problems with these new voter ID bills that require government-issued photo identification in order to vote?
- Studies consistently estimate that approximately 11 percent of voting-age citizens, including one out of every four African Americans, in the country (more than 21 million citizens!) currently lack a government-issued photo ID.
- A study by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law found that 18 percent of eligible voters nationwide over 65 lack an ID that would be suitable for voting.
- There may be evidence of isolated instances of alleged voter fraud, but proponents of these photo ID bills cannot point to substantial convictions. In addition, the laws already in place to punish voter fraud are sufficiently severe to deter potential criminals
Please join the Lawyers' Committee and our leaders in Congress in the fight against this voter suppression activity by telling the Department of Justice to deny preclearance to South Carolina's voter ID legislation.
Time is running out, the Department of Justice will be making its decision soon. It is time that we said that "enough is enough." Our right to vote is too important for us to allow these assaults to continue. Instead of debating costly and restrictive measures that are simply unnecessary and unfair, we need to come together and encourage our legislators to genuinely fix our system of elections and expand access to the ballot box.
We appreciate your assistance in the fight against voter suppression.