The national battle over voter ID laws that roiled the presidential campaign for a time then fizzled before Election Day is set to rage again in 2013.
This year promises a flurry of new voter ID legislation across the country as well as reignited court battles in states where the laws were blocked last year and a Supreme Court ruling on part of the Voting Rights Act.
All of the activity will bring the debate — which pits conservatives targeting potential election fraud against voting-rights groups convinced the laws are really about disenfranchising low-propensity liberal voters — to the forefront again.
“There are a number of states where there’s clearly active legislative attempts to make their voter ID laws more restrictive,” said Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, which has been involved in court challenges to a handful of the voter ID laws around the country. “This is not an issue that has gone away.”
States with voter ID legislation to be debated this year include Alaska, Arkansas, New York, North Carolina, Missouri, Montana, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. All of the bills would require voters to present some kind of government-issued photo ID in order to vote.
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