A coalition of 115 House Democrats have signed a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling on the Justice Department to vigorously oppose voter ID laws that are sweeping state legislatures across the country.
“Many of these bills only have one true purpose, the disenfranchisement of eligible voters — especially the elderly, young voters, students, minorities, and low-income voters,” they write in the letter.
“Restrictive voter photo identification legislation has the potential to block millions of eligible American voters, and thus suppress the right to vote. We urge you to exercise your authority to examine these laws so that voting rights are not jeopardized,” the members write.
The letter was sent about a month after 16 Democratic Senators urged DOJ to use its full power to scrutinize voter ID laws. Several members of the House held a press conference earlier this month slamming the voter ID laws as “racist” and “Rovian.” Last week, several Democrats took to the floor of the House to denounce the restrictive measures.
In an interview with The Root, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) — chair of the Democratic National Committee — said that DOJ’s top civil rights official Tom Perez had assured members of Congress that the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section is looking at the laws closely.
“The bottom line is that we want every eligible American to be able to cast a ballot and have their ballot counted,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Things like voter-ID laws, restrictions on voter-registration drives, rollbacks on early voting and the rest of these Republican-sponsored laws only serve to make it harder for eligible Americans to vote.”
The full letter is here.