Ben Jealous of the NAACP challenges South Carolina's voter ID law at a holiday rally.
We can't think of a better way to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. than to focus on the issue of voter suppression.
Ed Schultz is very passionate about the issue and he's discussed it many times on the show. So we were quite happy to see the tough language that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder used today at a MLK holiday day event in Columbia, South Carolina.
"Protecting the right to vote, ensuring meaningful access, and combating discrimination must be viewed not only as a legal issue but as a moral imperative," Holder said.
Holder's comments come nearly four weeks after the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division ruled that South Carolina's voter identification law was discriminatory because it would make voting harder for minorities, who lack sufficient forms of government-approved ID more often than whites do (which was discussed on 'The Ed Show' on Dec. 28; watch the clip).
The Justice Department rejects South Carolina's new voter ID law. What will that mean for 2012? Ed talks with Katie O'Connor of the ACLU and Professor Caroline Heldman of Occidental College.
South Carolina is one of 13 mostly Republican-controlled states that have approved new voting laws that include requiring government-approved photo ID to register or vote, shortening early voting periods and curtailing voter registration efforts by third-party groups.
Supporters of the new laws say they're needed to protect against voter fraud. But several studies and investigations indicate that voter fraud in the United States is negligible, however.
Critics view the new laws as nothing more than thinly veiled attempts to suppress the votes of minorities, the elderly and the young, key voting blocs for the Democratic Party.