Saturday, July 28, 2012

Losing the vote (UPDATED)

I've told you before about the effort by Republicans to suppres the vote, particularly by the young, the poor, the people of color--those pesky folks who like to vote Democratic.

Writing in the NY Times, Charles Blow asks Where is the Outrage?
According to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, at least 180 restrictive voting bills were introduced since the beginning of 2011 in 41 states, and “16 states have passed restrictive voting laws that have the potential to impact the 2012 election” because they “account for 214 electoral votes, or nearly 79 percent of the total needed to win the presidency.”
A provision most likely to disenfranchise voters is a requirement that people show photo identification to vote. Millions of Americans don’t have these forms of ID, and many can’t easily obtain them, even when states say they’ll offer them free, because getting the documentation to obtain the “free” ID takes time and money.
Make no mistake about it, these requirements are not about the integrity of the vote but rather the disenfranchisement of voters. This is about tilting the table so that more of the marbles roll to the Republican corner.
Here's an update from Politico:

“A lot of the damage has been done, in that there’s now great confusion among our voters and even among the poll workers about how elections run and what they need to bring,” said Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote. “And an intimidating process has now become even more confusing. For a first-time voter who’s thinking about participating, … it is a demoralizing and confusing kind of message that’s out there.”

(Picture from here)


Counterlight said...

Permanent one party rule, just like in the right's favorite success story, China.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with everyone having an I.D.? I think if you asked most people,Republicans,Independents, or even a few Democrats, they can't imagine living without an I.D. card. Shouldn't we be helping citizens get them rather than fighting against I.D.s? You might not use it every day, but there are so many things you need them for that making sure everyone has them seems the better way to go.

JCF said...

Shouldn't you be proposing ways to make IDs universal BEFORE you take away someone's franchise over it, Chris?

The cart is before the horse, if it's about the ID. It's not. It's about VOTE SUPPRESSION. Period!

Anonymous said...

Have you gone leave of your senses? I visited Cuba in 1998 and during my stay witnessed a "citizen" being jailed for being "outside his area" without expressed written permission from the Cuban government. Mandatory IDs are the firststep toward control of the population. "IDs? IDs? We don't need no stinkin' IDs!"

Fred and El Jefe

Counterlight said...

Internal passports! That's the answer.

(sarcasm off)

The problem for the right is not that people vote, it's just that the 'wrong kind' of people vote, too many of them.

JCF said...


FYI, IT: Ellie has a new(ish) blog address for "The Anchorhold", that's not registering on FoJ's blogroll.

IT said...

If you would like to give me the address, JCF, I will update.

JCF said...

Here ya go:

Anonymous said...

Fred and El Jefe, I take it you don't have an I.D. then. Because you are illegal? or just because someone so afraid of the government must not have one out of principle. What did/do you do when asked for I.D. for a job? Or to buy alcohol, Sudafed,or controlled prescriptions? How did you get water,electricity, or gas to your house/apartment? Get a bank account? A loan? Travel by plane or train? All those require I.D. here. Not buying it.

JCF said...

Chris H, let me explain something for you.

We Christians, see, like to identify with the least of these. Y'know, those who do NOT have proper IDs---EVEN if we may have them ourselves. It's something *our* Lord, Jesus Christ, taught us to do. The World doesn't get it, so you're in good company.


IT said...

What you are saying, Chris, is that people who don't live a comfortable middle class life shouldn't vote.

Here's a report:
Even when making required photo identification free to eligible voters, the process still poses significant burdens to many poor voters, according to a new study from the Brennan Center for Justice, a voting rights advocacy organization.....

"The response of proponents of these laws has been, 'Well, just get an ID and if in fact you're too poor to pay for it, we'll give you the ID for free," Lawrence Norden, deputy director of the Brennan Center's Democracy Program told reporters on a conference call Wednesday. "Unfortunately for many people, this is not going to be such a simple solution."

Nearly 500,000 eligible voters in these 10 states do not have access to a vehicle and live over 10 miles from the closest office where they can obtain the type of identification required to vote in their state, according to the center's study, which came out this week. Many offices maintain limited or odd hours, such as being open only one day a month. Additionally, some eligible voters in those states face an added challenge in that they have to pay for the underlying documentation necessary to obtain the photo identification.

....Most of those affected are minorities.

Attorney General Eric Holder recently decried the hidden cost of free photo IDs, referring to the new voter ID laws in 10 states as "poll taxes."

"Many of those without ID would have to travel great distances to get them, and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them. We call those poll taxes," Holder said during an address to the NAACP July 10.

As a broad principle, we can discuss whether there should be national ID cards. But placing barriers in front of people to prevent them from voting in an election year has a name: disenfranchisement.