Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Disenfranchisement of America

I had a heated "debate" with a friend of mind about this exact topic awhile ago.  If my memory serves me correctly, his point was the standard voter fraud argument complete with a reference to ACORN combined with "what's so hard about getting an ID." 

At the end of the day, requiring an ID to vote is an attempt by Republicans to disenfranchise segments of the population who generally vote for Democrats.  

This NYT editorial lays it out far better than I can...
Seven states have already passed strict laws requiring a government-issued ID (like a driver’s license or a passport) to vote 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. 
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.  
Republicans usually don’t want to acknowledge that their purpose is to turn away voters, especially when race is involved, so they invented an explanation, claiming that stricter ID laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud. In fact, there is almost no voter fraud in America to prevent. 
William O’Brien, the speaker of the New Hampshire State House, told a Tea Party group earlier this year that students are “foolish” and tend to “vote their feelings” because they lack life experience. “Voting as a liberal,” he said, “that’s what kids do.” And that’s why, he said, he supported measures to prohibit students from voting from their college addresses and to end same-day registration. 
Occasionally there's talk about moving Election Day to a Saturday (voting on a Tuesday is an anachronism from our agrarian past) or allowing greater use of mail-in ballots. Don't count on either of these proposals ever seeing the light of day because Republicans are fully aware that the more people who vote the worse it is for them.  

Such a shame. 

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