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AG Garland Pledges To Fight Against State Voter Integrity Laws: Report

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has pledged to use the resources of his Justice Department to fight against voter ID and other state-level laws that protect the integrity of the ballot process, which he claims seek to “disadvantage minorities.”

Standing alongside Vice President Kamala Harris in Selma, Ala., on Sunday, Garland described voter ID laws and other ballot integrity measures as “discriminatory, burdensome, and unnecessary,” according to Breitbart News. Both were speaking at an event to commemorate the 59th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday assaults against civil rights demonstrators.

Garland reflected on the history of voting rights for black Americans since the end of slavery following the Civil War, which he claimed has “never been steady” even to the present day. He also claimed, without evidence, that voter ID laws have somehow made it harder “for millions of eligible voters to vote and to elect the representatives of their choice.”

“Those measures include practices and procedures that make voting more difficult; redistricting maps that disadvantage minorities; and changes in voting administration that diminish the authority of locally elected or nonpartisan election administrators,” he said during a speech at Selma’s Tabernacle Baptist Church. “Such measures threaten the foundation of our system of government.”

Breitbart added:

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Garland said that he has increased the number of lawyers working in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division, referring to voter integrity laws as “discriminatory, burdensome, and unnecessary restrictions on access to the ballot, including those related to mail-in voting, the use of drop boxes, and voter ID requirements.”

“That is why we are working to block the adoption of discriminatory redistricting plans that dilute the vote of black voters and other voters of color,” he said.

In fact, Garland and the Biden administration’s position regarding voter integrity laws is the polar opposite of the majority of Americans: Surveys have consistently shown that most support voter ID laws, including as many as six in 10 Democrats, Breitbart noted further.

“A new poll, set to be released Wednesday by Rasmussen Reports, indicates that 75 percent of Americans support voter ID laws that require voters to show photo identification before voting — including 60 percent of Democrats,” Breitbart News reported in 2021. “Only 21 percent oppose such laws.”

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Last month, a federal judge ruled that Ohio’s strict voter ID law, which includes a photo provision, is constitutional and has rejected a challenge.

The ruling tossed out a complaint filed by a Democratic law firm challenging provisions including a photo ID, “drop box restrictions, and tightened deadlines related to absentee and provisional ballots,” MSN reported.

In his Monday ruling, U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent, a Clinton appointee, found that the Ohio photo ID requirement, in particular, “imposes no more than a minimal burden, if any, for the vast majority of voters.”

The report added: “Nugent also rejected the other claims asserted by the Elias Law Group, whose suit filed last year on behalf of groups representing military veterans, teachers, retirees, and the homeless argued the law imposed ‘needless and discriminatory burdens’ on the right to vote. The suit was filed the same day Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed the legislation over the objections of voting rights, labor, environmental, and civil rights groups that had been pleading for a veto.”

The judge stated that there is no constitutional entitlement for voters to access mail-in or early voting options. Furthermore, he pointed out that Ohio’s revised timetable for acquiring and submitting absentee ballots is still more accommodating than that of 30 other states.

He pointed out that the argument suggesting that restricting ballot drop boxes to one location negatively impacted voters was inaccurate, given that the 2023 law marked the state’s first use of such boxes.

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