Judge Orders Federal Government To Enforce State Voter ID Laws

Andrew Mortazavi

On Wednesday, a federal judge ordered the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to assist Kansas and Arizona in imposing state voter-ID laws. The EAC, a federal organization that handles election administration, had previously refused to add state-specific language requiring voters to provide proof of citizenship to national voter registration forms.  While some Republican politicians and states’ rights advocates defend the ruling and the new voter requirements as a way to ensure only eligible citizens are allowed to vote, detractors claim that there is no proof that voter fraud is even an issue. According to the New York Times: There has been little evidence of in-person voter fraud or efforts by noncitizens to vote, but the poor and minorities are likely to be affected. Studies have shown that the poor and minorities often lack passports and access to birth certificates needed to register under the laws in question. Judge Melgren’s decision holds particular significance this election year, as it could prevent thousands of people from voting just as the governorship and other major offices are on the ballot in both states. The Supreme Court paved the way for Wednesday’s decision last June by ruling that, while Congress retained full power over federal election rules, the states could require proof of citizenship in state and local elections.

For a limited time:

Donate $20 or more to In These Times and we'll send you a copy of Let This Radicalize You.

In this new book, longtime organizers and movement educators Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes examine the political lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, including the convergence of mass protest and mass formations of mutual aid. Let This Radicalize You answers the urgent question: What fuels and sustains activism and organizing when it feels like our worlds are collapsing?

We've partnered with the publisher, Haymarket Books, and 100% of your donation will go towards supporting In These Times.

Andrew Mortazavi is a Spring 2014 editorial intern. Follow him on Twitter at @andrewmortazavi.
Get 10 issues for $19.95

Subscribe to the print magazine.