Alabama and Mississippi both hold presidential primaries on Tuesday. Last year, both states passed voter ID laws requiring a photo ID however, these laws are not in effect. They must be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act because of past discrimination against minorities.
Last week, the Minnesota House Government Operations and Elections Committee passed a bill to amend the Minnesota constitution to require a photo ID to vote. The bill moves this week to the House Ways and Means Committee where the bill is on the committee’s schedule for Tuesday.
The New Hampshire House could vote this week to approve a voter ID law, passed last week in the state Senate, that would requires voters to present a photo ID to vote. If a voter does not have acceptable ID, they will be allowed to vote but must sign a challenged voter affidavit.
In Pennsylvania, the state Senate voted last week to approve a bill that will require a photo ID to vote. The bill originated in the House and was amended in the Senate to include photo ID cards from accredited colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, 1-year expired PennDOT ID, photo IDs from care facilities, and municipal government employee photo ID cards. The bill moves back to the House this week for concurrence. If the House approves, the bill will likely be before Governor Tom Corbett within the next two weeks for his signature. He has stated his support for the bill.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) objected today that the voter ID law passed last year in Texas because Hispanic voters are 120 percent more likely than non-Hispanic voters to lack a driver’s license or state-issued photo ID. Because of past discrimination against minorities, changes to voting laws in Texas are subject to review by the DOJ because of past discriminatory practices in Texas.
Last week, the Virginia House approved a voter ID bill passed in the Senate that will require a voter ID to vote. The bill now goes to the governor for his signature. He has 30 days to sign the bill.
Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess will decide today whether to permanently block the Wisconsin’s new voter ID law. This stems from a separate case where a judge last week issued a temporary injunction against the voter ID law, suspending it until a hearing on that lawsuit in April.
Other States to Watch
Nebraska could still pass a photo ID law introduced earlier this year.
The Michigan House could take up a bill passed last month in the state Senate that would require photo ID to register to vote, require a voter answer a citizenship question on ballot applications, and place restrictions on voter registration drives.