voter ID law

3:47 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Rand Paul Says No Evidence of Racial Discrimination in Elections

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

Speaking at the Louisville Forum this week, Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., says there is no evidence that African-Americans are being barred from U.S. elections more than whites.

The comments come as several civil rights leaders announce they are launching a 50-state project aimed at reviving a historic law after the Supreme Court struck down a key part of it this year.

Many proponents argue a recent voter ID law in North Carolina is an example of legislation that wouldn’t have passed if the full Voting Rights Act was intact. Both the ACLU and NAACP have filed a pair of lawsuits alleging the state law is aimed at suppressing minority voters in upcoming elections.

Paul says there was once a time for the Voting Rights Act and there is still justification for the federal government to intervene if an individual's civil rights are violated.

But Kentucky's junior senator says any new provisions shouldn’t focus on southern states based on past cases of discrimination.

"The interesting thing about voting patterns now is in this last election African-Americans voted at a higher percentage than whites in almost every one of the states that were under the special provisions of the federal government," he says. "So really, I don't think there is objective evidence that we're precluding African-Americans from voting any longer."

In 2012, census figures showed black voter turnout was around 66 percent compared 64 percent among whites.

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5:27 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Grimes Compares Voter ID Laws to Jim Crow Era Suppression

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is speaking out against the rise of voter identification laws across the country, and she blames Republican leaders for pushing the measures.

Several states have passed new measures to protect the integrity of elections, but they have also made registering and voting more difficult. Many of the laws require voters to present a government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot.

But opponents, including Grimes, say the new laws target young, minority and elderly voters, who tend to vote Democratic. 

"Here in Kentucky we’ve seen no indication of in-person fraud, which would indicate that we would need to change or alter or amend our current ID requirements. But what we have seen in states surrounding us, they are Republican controlled both at the governor's level and state legislature level. We have seen ID requirements being strengthened to be a government issued id," she says.

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