Fate of new voting laws still uncertain
With only eight weeks remaining before the presidential election, questions of who can vote and when remain unsettled in several key states. New laws passed by Republican legislatures in those states are still being hashed out in federal and state courts, according to NPR.
In Pennsylvania, a new voter ID law is scheduled for an appeal hearing this week in the state Supreme Court. Ohio is asking a federal appeals court to reverse a recent district court ruling that overturned a law restricting early voting.
South Carolina, meanwhile, is awaiting a decision from a federal court on whether the state can go ahead with its new voter ID law. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley praised the measure Aug. 28 during her Republican National Convention speech, saying it would “protect one of the most valuable, most central, sacred rights we are blessed with in America — the right to vote.”
South Carolina’s law requires voters to show a state-approved photo identification at the polls. Other states also passed laws that require voters to show photo identification, restrict voter registration drives or shorten early voting periods.
The Obama administration challenged several of the new laws. A federal court struck down a voter ID law in Texas.
Supporters say the new rules, including photo ID requirements, will reduce voting fraud. But a report from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School said the new measures could restrict ballot access for more than five million eligible voters.