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GOP Crusades To Prevent Voting

English: ballot box

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The New York Times Editorial yesterday, Keeping Students From the Polls sums up a piece of the national campaign by the Republican Party to prevent likely Democratic citizens from exercising their right to vote.

It is a documented fact that actual voter fraud, in which someone casts a vote illegally, is extremely rare.

Starting with the assassination of ACORN, Republicans have tried to build a case that illegal immigrants are voting en masse with the help of evil librul organizations.

If you aren’t familiar with the ACORN case, the organization hired people across the country to registered people of ALL stripes to vote.

Some of those people, instead of doing their job, made up names and submitted them to ACORN — who promptly flagged them and reported the applications to the state election commissions in question.

That’s it. That’s the whole story.

In terms of voter fraud, ACORN was absolutely innocent, and independent investigations have exonerated the group. Their crime was to try to register minorities, immigrants, and young people — a demographic that tends to vote Democrat.

Using the pretext of the trumped-up ACORN case (fueled by Fox News, the right-wing blogosphere and talk radio), Republican governors have forced through completely unnecessary laws that:

  1. Prevent college students from voting Setup draconian
  2. ID laws to excluded the elderly and poor
  3. Distribute false information to likely Democratic constituents to suppress their vote during elections
  4. Stop convenient same-day registration for voters

The times piece notes, in the case of students:

Seven states have already passed strict laws requiring a government-issued ID (like a driver’s license or a passport) to vote, which many students don’t have, and 27 others are considering such measures. Many of those laws have been interpreted as prohibiting out-of-state driver’s licenses from being used for voting.

These barriers also prevent some minorities and the elderly from accessing the voting booth.

Case in point:

96-year-old Chattanooga resident denied voting ID

Did you guess? She’s black.

But others have been caught in the net as well:

Wisconsin Voter ID Law Ensnares Teacher In Rural Part Of State

All of this puts the lie to the alleged anti-big government bullshit stance taken by the right-wing.

They’re just fine with overreaching government interference into people’s rights — unless their the ones wo get interfered with.

The Times sums it up:

It’s all part of a widespread Republican effort to restrict the voting rights of demographic groups that tend to vote Democratic. Blacks, Hispanics, the poor and the young, who are more likely to support President Obama, are disproportionately represented in the 21 million people without government IDs. On Friday, the Justice Department, finally taking action against these abuses, blocked the new voter ID law in South Carolina.

With the challenge to the SC law and other fights around the nation, Americans are winning small victories to restore voter access for all:

Many students have taken advantage of Election Day registration laws, which is one reason Maine Republicans passed a law eliminating the practice. Voters restored it last month, but Republican lawmakers there are already trying new ways to restrict voting. The secretary of state said he was investigating students who are registered to vote in the state but pay out-of-state tuition.

The major problem with these tactics is that they work.

In the long run, they create a bitter distaste for voting among young people and depresses their representation.

We need to fight to turn this around.


December 27, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] GOP Crusades To Prevent Voting ( […]

    Pingback by Keeping Students From the Polls « The Fifth Column | December 28, 2011 | Reply

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