RALEIGH, N.C. -- Empowered by last year's elections, GOP leaders in about half of states are pushing to require voters to show ID at the polls.
The effort comes despite limited signs of voter fraud and already-hefty punishments for those who vote illegally. Democrats are concerned that stringent ID rules might disenfranchise minorities and the poor. Party leaders advanced several proposals this week with successful votes in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio and Texas.
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett says he believes his state's proposed photo ID law will increase citizen confidence in the process and combat fraud that could be going undetected.
But in the South, the issue comes with a burden of history for black voters who recall past barriers to voting such as violence, literacy tests and other methods.