U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is now comparing Texas' voter ID law to a poll tax. Holder made the comparison during a speech to the NAACP in Houston this morning.
His comments came one day after the Justice Department argued in Federal Court that Texas' requirement that voters show photo ID before casting a ballot would disenfranchise 1.4 million people, many of them black and Hispanic.
Since a wave of Republican governors swept into office in 2010, a number of states, including Pennsylvania and South Carolina, have enacted photo ID laws that critics say are squarely aimed at preventing minorities from voting. The National Conference of State Legislatures says photo ID bills have been signed into law in 17 states; currently 11 of those laws are in effect. According to The Brennan Center for Justice, 21 million voting-age citizens lack photo ID. When looked at by race, 25% of voting-age African Americans and 16% of Hispanics don't have photo ID compared to 8% of whites.
Keep an eye out for what Governor Mitt Romney says tomorrow when he makes what could be a very awkward cameo appearance before the NAACP. In the past, the presumptive Republican nominee has been supportive of the laws Holder calls a poll tax.