Holder Gets It Completely Wrong on Poll Taxes and Voter ID

First he was withholding information from Congress. Now U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is giving misinformation to the public.

In his July 10 speech to the NAACP, Holder claimed that the requirement that you obtain a free photo ID to vote is the same as a poll tax: “Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them, and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them. We call those poll taxes.”

The problem with that dubious statement is that it is wrong under the law. Perhaps that’s why the Justice Department has made no such claim in the federal lawsuits in which it is fighting the voter ID laws of Texas and South Carolina. And yet Holder continues to perpetuate the incendiary error to the public, knowing that the poll-tax assertion is a racially charged one that should not be used lightly.

The 24th Amendment to the Constitution states that the right of citizens to vote shall not be denied or abridged “by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.” The claim that the costs and time involved in obtaining a free photo ID card for voting is a poll tax was raised in the first lawsuits filed against the Georgia and Indiana voter ID laws back in 2006.



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