Attorney General Eric Holder defended the Obama administration's civil rights record Tuesday in a speech to the NAACP National Convention in Houston.
Holder told the predominately African-American organization the Civil Rights Division had filed a record number of cases and the White House was committed to defending voting rights.
"The Justice Department's efforts to uphold and enforce voting rights will remain aggressive," Holder said in his prepared remarks. "And I have every expectation that we'll continue to be effective."
Voting rights has been a hot-button issue between the Justice Department and the state of Texas, which have been at odds over a state law requiring voters to present an official photo ID at polling places.
Holder said his department was opposed to the law in part because it would unfairly impact minority residents who may not have the money or wherewithal to apply for a driver's license or state ID. He cited a nationwide study that concluded while 8 percent of whites of voting age lacked an official photo identity card, 25 percent of Africa-Americans failed to have the necessary ID.
"We will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right," Holder said.
"The Justice Department has initiated careful, thorough, and independent reviews of proposed voting changes ... including redistricting plans, early voting procedures, photo identification requirements, and changes affecting third party registration organizations ... in order to guard against disenfranchisement," Holder said.
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