It is good to be back on Think Progress with you. This morning’s Washington Post reported that political appointees overruled career civil rights professionals on whether DOJ should pre-approve Georgia’s law requiring a photo ID to vote. The decision to overrule the career experts at DOJ also overturned what had been the standard practice in that Department since the Voting Rights Act was first passed 40 years ago.
Having read that troubling story I could not help but revisit the discussion on election reform we had about a month ago.
I was particularly unimpressed by one line of argument uncovered in the Post article. An Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice argued that the number of potential voters without a photo ID was “extremely small.” He went on to argue that those without such ID were more likely to be white than black.
My question is this: why would the Department of Justice of the United States of America want to make it harder for any voter, regardless of his or her race, to exercise the most basic right guaranteed people of this great country?
Thankfully, two courts – with judges appointed by Republicans and Democrats alike – have now seen through the proposed Georgia law on requiring photo IDs to vote. Those courts have rightly stayed implementation of that unfortunate law – notwithstanding the political posturing of political appointees in Justice. That gives me great hope that the law will never be implemented – and other states will refuse to follow Georgia’s lead on passing what amounts to a modern day poll tax.