A landmark federal law used to block the adoption of state voter identification cards and other election rules now faces unprecedented legal challenges.
A record five federal lawsuits filed this year challenge the constitutionality of a key provision in the Voting Rights Act. The 1965 statute prevents many state and local governments from enacting new voter ID requirements, redistricting plans and similar proposals on grounds that the changes would disenfranchise minorities.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is defending his effort to prevent non-U.S. citizens from voting in his state after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to stop him on Tuesday.
Scott told NPR's Michel Martin on Tell Me More Wednesday that after learning his state didn't verify the citizenship status of registered voters, he's trying to ensure that the ballots of U.S. citizens aren't diminished:
And the disputes over voter eligibility extend well beyond Florida. New voter ID laws, and other voting restrictions, have been enacted in a number of states since the last major election. And that has raised special concern among African-Americans, who feel they are being targeted.
Black church leaders and the Congressional Black Caucus met yesterday here in Washington, D.C., to discuss how to make sure African-American voters aren't discouraged from turning out in November.
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Opponents have intensified a campaign against a group that drafts and promotes bills for state lawmakers to enact. The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, says it stands for limited government, free markets and federalism. The corporate-funded group has promoted much debated ideas - from voter ID rules to stand your ground gun laws.