GOP state senator under fire after proposing voter ID laws

A Republican state senator from the Hudson Valley has set off a firestorm by proposing legislation that would require New Yorkers to present a government-issued photo ID at polling sites on Election Day.

Photo ID laws have been popular in Southern states, which supporters like New York Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Putnam), the bill sponsor, claim deter fraud there.

But opponents, including Democratic lawmakers and civil-rights groups, argue that they discriminate against minorities and lead to voter suppression. Photo ID laws in Texas and other states have been challenged or struck down in court.

“This is right out of the Trump playbook. Legislation like this has no place in New York. We need to make it easier to vote and not set up unnecessary road blocks or dangerous scare tactics,” said Senate Democratic minority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

Democrats will try to force votes Monday on several bills to ease voter access, including early voting, automatic voter registration and making voter intimidation a crime.

Murphy defended his bill.

“Our right to vote is among our most sacred,” he said, adding that the bill asks for the same residency requirements as a “recreational fishing license.”

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