Attorney General Eric Holder told a gathering at UT, he'll use all the resources at his disposal to ensure new voting laws across the country are not discriminatory. Among the laws Holder singled out is the one in Texas that takes effect January 1st — requiring voters to show government-issued photo ID at the polls.
Republican Senator John Cornyn pointed out the law provides free photo IDs to people who can't afford them. He also asserted that being asked to present proof of identity to vote is not a burden.
"Much as people have to produce an ID card when they buy cigarettes to make sure they are of age, or to buy beer, or to travel or an airplane, or the like."
Earlier this year, KUHF reviewed records from the state Attorney General's office related to voter fraud. Most complaints, and prosecutions, had to do with mishandled mail-in ballots. The records show only two complaints of voter impersonation were referred to the AG's office over the last decade. Senator Cornyn concedes there have not been widespread prosecutions of people claiming to be someone else so they can vote.
"But I think the voters in Texas don't need to sit back and be in doubt about the integrity of their vote."
Three years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a voter ID law in Indiana, ruling that the state's interest in preventing fraud outweighed the burden placed on voters.