Are Voter IDs Jim Crow or Just Common Sense? Senators Debate Voting Laws
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WASHINGTON - There's a fierce debate happening across the country over voting laws. One element questions whether requiring an ID harkens back to Jim Crow-era restrictions or good practice to prevent voter fraud.
That was the case in point in a hearing Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee entitled, "Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote."
A title of which ranking committee member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) objected.
"The title of this hearing is offensive. As a student of history, this title diminishes the very real challenges and unfairness that minorities endured in the Jim Crow South at the hands of southern Democrats," he said.
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Although congressional leaders are pushing a sweeping new federal election law, state requirements like voter IDs sit at the center of the debate.
A Rasmussen Reports poll conducted last week found 62 percent of Americans feel ID requirements don't discriminate.
Democrats argue, however, they have one aim -- to keep black and brown Americans from casting ballots.
"Just this year more than 360 bills with restricting voting provisions have been introduced in 47 states These new pieces of legislation may not include literary tests or counting the number of jellybeans in the jar like the original Jim Crow, but make no mistake they are a deliberate effort to restrict voters of color," argued Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) who chairs the committee.
The corporate fallout that followed Georgia's new voting law by major corporations like Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, along with Major League Baseball's decision to move its All-Star game out of Atlanta also drew debate.
"When partisans and companies collude to ruin the livelihoods of their opponents there's a term for that, it's economic terrorism," offered Grassley.
In an op-ed published by Fox Business and addressed to "Woke Corporate America," Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) wrote, "You will rue the day when it hits you. That day is November 8, 2022. That is the day Republicans will take back the Senate and the House. It will be a day of reckoning."
For its part, the Biden administration this week named Justin Levitt as senior advisor for democracy and voting rights to help the president keep his promise of election reforms.
The federal Voting Rights Act passed the House last month but faces gridlock in the evenly split Senate where it will require a filibuster-proof 60 vote majority in order to pass.
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