UN rights council delves into US voter I.D. laws

The controversy of the law requiring voters to provide photo I.D’s and the justice department blockage of that has reached the doors of UN. The United Nations Human Rights Council in their gathering in Geneva to discuss minority rights is investigating the matter of United States elections laws. Presenting their case against U.S. voter ID laws, officials from the NAACP pointed out to the international diplomats that the requirements suppress the minority vote and disenfranchise voters.

In the past year, eight States have passed the voter ID law while 32 States are still undecided. Recently, the Obama Government had blocked South Carolina and Texas from enacting their voter ID laws. Speaking about the voter photo ID requirements, Hillary Shelton, the NAACP’s senior vice-president for advocacy, said that the move was tactical and would hinder the growth of Democracy.

In an interview to Fox News, Shelton said the message from the NAACP delegation to the Human Rights Council is that the photo ID law “undercuts the integrity of our government, if you allow it to happen. It’s trickery; it’s a sleight-of-hand. We’re seeing it happen here and we don’t want it to happen to you, and we are utilizing the U.N. as a tool to make sure that we are able to share that with those countries all over the world.”

Mr. Sheldon acknowledges the fact that UN has no legal jurisdiction over the American legal system but adds that UN should be involved in sharing best practices all over the world.

The two American citizens backed by NAACP to present their claims at the U.N. panel feel they could be affected by this law, one Kemba Smith Pradia, was convicted of a drug related offence, thinks she may not be able to vote though she was given clemency by Bill Clinton. The other, Austin Alex, a Texas Christian University student feels that he may not be able to vote as he holds only a out of State driving license and not a Government Photo ID.

“The idea that this is a human rights abuse is ridiculous,” said Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation and a voter fraud expert in Washington,D.C. Spakovsky thinks that it is a move to seek attention by NAACP and they should concentrate more on real human right violations going on in other nations. But Shelton believes that their presence in Geneva could teach other nations on how to improve their electoral laws.

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