AFL-CIO to Fight Voter ID Laws


Less than one week after organized labor’s defeat in Wisconsin, the AFL-CIO announced its plans to launch a massive campaign against voter identification laws in key 2012 swing states. Politico reports:

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker told reporters on Tuesday that the labor federation will have boots on the ground registering and helping voters in Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in coordination with the group’s political program. …

“This year, we will be running the strongest voter protection program ever. This will be our most aggressive push, and we have never done anything on this scale before because the attacks that we are seeing on the right to vote are unprecedented,” Baker said, calling voter ID laws passed in several states “a modern-day version of a poll tax and a new form of Jim Crow.” …

The AFL-CIO plans to partner in voter-protection efforts with groups like the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza, Generational Alliance and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. … Many of the demographic groups that could be adversely affected by the voter ID laws tend to vote Democratic.

This announcement follows two weeks of voter identification debate in key swing state Florida.

On May 31, The Department of Justice threatened to sue Florida for purging its voter rolls. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner disagreed with the DOJ’s interpretation, arguing that the voter purge violated no law.

On Monday, Governor Rick Scott announced that the Sunshine State will sue the Department of Homeland Security. In a statement issued alongside the lawsuit, Detzner explained that “for nearly a year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has failed to meet its legal obligation to provide us the information necessary to identify and remove ineligible voters from Florida’s voter rolls.”

For Detzner, voter ID laws do not restrict voters, but help him “uphold the integrity of Florida elections.”

“We have found individuals that are registered to vote, they don’t have a right to vote, they’re non-citizens, and they voted,” Scott told Fox News. “I have a job to defend the right of legitimate voters.”