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Justice Dept. will intervene in challenges to Ohio and Wisconsin’s voting laws

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Attorney General Eric Holder (AFP)

By Brendan O’Brien and Kim Palmer

(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice plans to intervene in court challenges to laws that restrict voting in Wisconsin and Ohio, Attorney General Eric Holder said in remarks released on Tuesday.

Holder told ABC news during an unaired portion of an interview last week that the Justice Department intends to file in both cases, but did not elaborate on how or when it would do so, according to a transcript of the remarks provided by the department.

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Wisconsin and Ohio are among several states that have been forced to defend changes to voting protocol. Judges in recent months have overturned photo identification laws in Pennsylvania and Arkansas, and the Justice Department has intervened in similar cases challenging voting laws in Texas and North Carolina.

Republicans argue tighter rules are needed to prevent voter fraud, while Democrats say the revisions target likely Democratic voters such as minorities, the poor and college students.

Holder had already voiced his displeasure with a 2012 Wisconsin law that requires voters to have identification to cast a ballot, saying last month that it “erected significant barriers to equal access without serving any legitimate government interest.”

A federal judge ruled Wisconsin’s law unconstitutional in April and Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is appealing the ruling and objected on Tuesday to federal intervention.

“At a time when an immigration crisis is rattling the nation, the Attorney General is choosing to spend taxpayer money to meddle in a state law that does nothing more than ask a voter to show a photo ID,” Van Hollen said in a statement.

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Ohio Republican lawmakers in February passed a law eliminating the first week of the state’s five-week early voting period when people could register and vote the same day. The American Civil Liberties Union in May filed a federal lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee, Kim Palmer in Cleveland; Editing by Eric Walsh)

[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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2020 Election

Trump attacks 2 GOP governors on flight to Georgia rally: ‘Republicans will NEVER forget this’

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Republicans have been "working frantically behind the scenes" to keep President Donald Trump on message during his Saturday campaign rally in Georgia, but the efforts do not seem to be working.

GOP strategists hoped Trump would make the case for the two GOP senators in the January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate, but Trump has continued to fixate on his delusions that he won the presidential election.

Aboard Air Force One on the flight to the rally, Trump attacked two GOP governors: Brian Kemp of Georgia and Doug Ducey of Arizona -- and seemed to threaten political retribution for the pair not going along with the president's debunked conspiracy theories about the election.

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Trump holds large rally in Georgia — one day after the Peach State set a new coronavirus record

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President Donald Trump departed the White House on Saturday for an evening campaign rally in Georgia -- despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump is ostensively making the trip to support Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and interim Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) in the January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate. However, Republicans fear Trump will use his speech to continue bashing GOP Gov. Brian Kemp.

Trump's visit also comes against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

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2020 Election

Panicked Republicans ‘working frantically behind the scenes’ — but Trump just keeps attacking GOP Gov Brian Kemp

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Republicans are worried that President Donald Trump will pour gasoline on the intraparty inferno burning in Georgia.

Trump is officially traveling to the Peach State for a rally in support of the two Republican senators in January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate.

Republicans worry Trump will continue to attack Republican Gov. Brian Kemp as he has on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1335268230206722048

"Trump is to headline a campaign rally for Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the state Saturday night — his first major political event since before the Nov. 3 election. GOP officials are working frantically behind the scenes to try to keep the president on script at the rally, worried that he will use the forum to attack Kemp and other state GOP officials who have resisted his pressure, according to a person familiar with the discussions," The Washington Post reported Saturday.

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