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Attacks on Voting Rights Continue

The November 2012 elections have come and gone, but voter suppression isn't going away. The New Year has ushered in a new wave of attacks on Americans' voting rights:

  • In Iowa, Secretary of State Matt Schultz is once again angling to purge the state's voter registration rolls in the name of alleged voter fraud. His proposed voter-suppression rules would unjustly target Latino immigrants, intimidate voters and could disenfranchise citizens without cause.
  • Several GOP lawmakers in the Virginia General Assembly are introducing new stringent voter ID measures, including legislation that would prevent voters from using documentation like paycheck stubs, bank statements and utility bills to prove their identity. Such plans mirror other voter ID laws that were blocked last election cycle because they disproportionately harmed minorities, seniors, students and low-income voters.
  • North Carolina State Rep. Frank Iler (R) has pledged that a voter ID law will be the "first thing on the menu for lawmakers" when they reconvene on Jan. 30. Voter ID was vetoed by former Gov. Bev Perdue (D) last June, but Gov.-elect Pat McCrory (R) has said he would sign the legislation. A new report from the State Board of Elections found as many as 613,000 voters, or 9.25 percent of the North Carolina's voters, may not have a state issued driver's licensed or ID card; 53 percent of the voters in question are Democrats and about 30 percent are black.
  • Republican lawmakers in West Virginia are preparing to introduce a voter ID bill similar to the GOP-controlled Pennsylvania legislation last year. A judge temporarily suspended the controversial Pennsylvania law right before the election and it remains in court.

These lawmakers are banking on the idea that the fewer working people who vote, the more power anti-worker conservatives have to enact their agenda. But GOP voter suppression actually fueled African-American voter turnout last November. We'll continue to prove them wrong and to fight for universal registration so that all people can exercise their right to vote.