(NBC NEWS) The state-by-state battle over voter eligibility is not only being fought in the court of public opinion, but in actual courtrooms as well.

Since state rules help determine who ends up getting to vote, it’s possible that new voter identification requirements enacted since the 2008 election could make a difference on Nov. 6 in a few states where there are close presidential, House, and Senate contests.

Even as his department’s lawyers are fighting against Texas and other states in court, Attorney General Eric Holder joined the rhetorical melee last week in a speech to the NAACP by comparing voter ID laws to states’ poll taxes which were banned nearly 50 years ago. Holder said some people “would have to travel great distances” to get state-issued ID cards “and some would struggle to pay for those documents necessary to get them.” He said, “We call those poll taxes.”

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