On Wednesday, Sen. Michael Bennet requested that the Department of Justice (DOJ) fully review the photo identification voter requirements that are under consideration or recently signed into law in several states on grounds that the requirements could disenfranchise thousands of eligible voters.
Bennet, along with 15 other U.S. Senators, expressed serious concerns about the voter identification laws in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.
In the letter, the Senators wrote in a joint statement:
These measures have the potential to block millions of eligible American voters without addressing any problem commensurate with this kind of restriction on voting rights. Voting is the foundation of our democracy, and we urge you to protect the voting rights of Americans by using the full power of the Department of Justice to review these voter identification laws and scrutinize their implementation.
Bennet, in a statement describing the issue and why he and his fellow senators felt it was necessary for review by the DOJ, had this to say:
These laws are a solution in search of a problem. Instead of protecting the integrity of our voting system, many of these laws effectively disenfranchise thousands of eligible voters. Voting is integral to the strength of our democracy, and we should be working to increase voting participation, not keeping valid voters from having their voices heard.
Since January, voter ID laws have been passed in Wisconsin, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Kansas and Tennessee; Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire are also considering proposals.
Read the full text of the letter here.