Holder: Voter ID Laws Stifling Civil Rights

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Attorney General Eric Holder wants to stop new voting laws and redistricting in some states, following concerns that the new rules could reduce the voting rights of minorities.

The Justice Department is looking at several states that now require voters show photo identification at their polling places.

Texas, South Carolina, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin all passed similar voter ID laws this year.

Holder said action needs to be taken to ensure "election systems that are free from fraud, discrimination and partisan influence."

"Over the years, we've seen all sorts of attempts to gain partisan advantage by keeping people away from the polls," Holder said. "From literacy tests and poll taxes, to misinformation campaigns telling people that Election Day has been moved, or that only one adult per household can cast a ballot."

Are voter ID laws helping or hurting? CBN News spoke with attorney Jordan Sekulow for more on this.  Click play for his comments.

Holder used Texas as an example, saying recent redistricting in Texas won't give Hispanics a chance of winning elections.

"The most recent census data indicated that Texas has gained more than 4 million new residents - the vast majority of whom are Hispanic," Holder said. "However, this state has proposed adding zero additional seats in which Hispanics would have the electoral opportunity envisioned by the Voting Rights Act."

Republicans who approved the stricter voter identification laws said the new rules are necessary in preventing voter fraud.

"Facing an election challenge next year, this administration has chosen to target efforts by the states to protect the democratic process," said GOP Sen. John Cornyn, a former Texas attorney general and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Democrats said studies show the requirements have little to do with voter fraud, and are meant to reduce minority votes for their candidates.

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