Democrats to pursue protections for voting rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats say they are planning an unprecedented effort to protect voting rights in the 2012 election after several states passed voter identification laws and restrictions on early voting and same day registration.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz says the party will oppose obstacles “essentially designed to rig an election when Republicans can’t win these elections on the merits.”

Party officials say they will try to overturn some of the measures, educate voters on the types of documents needed to vote in the states and pursue lawsuits if necessary.

Voter ID laws have passed this year in states like Wisconsin, Tennessee and Rhode Island. Efforts to restrict early voting have been approved in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Supporters of the laws say they are necessary to eliminate voter fraud.