Dec. 1, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Democrats Fret About Stricter Voter ID Laws

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Sen. Michael Bennet is leading the Democratic charge against new voter identification laws in several states. Bennet and 15 other Senators are asking the Department of Justice to ensure that these measures do not disenfranchise voters.

Democrats are reluctant to openly acknowledge the political consequences of these laws in future elections, saying the issue for them is about infringements on voter's rights. But they do argue that the laws hurt Democratic voters more than Republicans.

Republicans counter that voter identification laws are essential to prevent voter fraud.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said he is supporting voter ID legislation to make sure "elections are run fairly and securely."

One sliver of good news for Democrats is that so far this year, voter ID bills have had little success in most of the states that President Barack Obama won in 2008 that will again be competitive in 2012.

Bills in Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Iowa and North Carolina have stalled, failed or were vetoed by the governor. Colorado, Florida, Virginia and Michigan already had voter ID laws in place and have seen no further tightening of the rules this year.

Weiser said the lack of success this year for voter ID bills in battleground states has more to do with split party control than the states' statuses during national elections. The parties share power in Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Nevada and New Mexico. Still, she said, "The battleground states are the ones where the fights are the fiercest."

The DNC's Gerlach said winning small battles in these states is little conciliation when it comes to protecting voters.

"Even if it happens in a couple states, regardless of what states they are, it is not good," he said.

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