Voter ID on Trial: Applewhite v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and State of Texas v. Holder

Vol. 36 No. 1

By

Benjamin E. Griffith is the principal in the Cleveland, Mississippi, firm of Griffith & Griffith, a Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, and a Past Chair of the Section. He is the author of the recently published America Votes! , available from the Section. 

“When I die, I want to be buried in Louisiana, so I can stay active in politics.”

—Louisiana Governor Earl Long1

During the last couple of years, legislative action in most states has restricted voter eligibility, imposing stringent requirements for photo identification among other restrictions in a response to the perceived need to curb electoral fraud and related electoral abuses. Over 180 restrictive bills were introduced in 41 states from January 2011 to the present, and of those, 16 states have now passed restrictive voting laws that will have a significant impact on the 2012 election. These 16 states account for 214 electoral votes, or nearly 79% of the total needed to win the presidency. One of those states is Pennsylvania, where a constitutional challenge was recently mounted in state court against that state’s voter ID law. Following a hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction, the trial court denied injunctive relief.2

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