Jim Crow This Isn’t…

Mitch Berg notes Rep. Keith Ellison’s support for an anti-voter ID bill. As usual, there’s the comparisons to requiring a voter ID to “poll taxes” and the like. Such comparisons are an insult to people’s intelligence. So long as voter ID requirements are uniformly enforced there’s absolutely no reason why such rules should not be in place. You have to have an ID to drive, to get on a plane, and to do many other common tasks. There’s no reason to not have photo IDs for voter registration.

Opposition to voter ID laws are less about principle than they are about politics: by keeping voting requirements lax it’s a lot easier to pull electoral shenanigans. Pulling the race card is just a way of polarizing the debate even more. The fact that Rep. Ellison would support such an odious and unsupportable contention demonstrates his lack of personal character and his willingness to take the party line even when he should no better.

4 thoughts on “Jim Crow This Isn’t…

  1. Thank you, Secretary Bradbury, for spanking Jay Reding.

    My favorite part:

    People like to argue that we have to show ID to get on a plane or drive a car, and that voting is just as important as those activities. And I agree. Voting is not just as important as driving, in fact, it’s more important.

    That’s why voting, unlike driving, is enshrined in the Constitution as a fundamental right: a right that everyone must have access to, a right that is not just for those who can afford it, not just for those who can pass a state-sponsored test. A right that is for all our citizens.

    Voter ID requirements and proof of citizenship requirements open the door to discrimination against people who attempt to exercise their right to vote.

    -A Wisconsin study found that nearly one-quarter of people over 65 do not have ID.
    -The US Department of Justice found that blacks in Louisiana are 5 times less likely than whites to have ID.
    -Georgia has 159 counties and only 56 places to obtain an ID – now needed to vote — and, not one of those places is in Atlanta.

    If you are poor, if you are elderly, if you move often, or if you are a person of color, then these voter ID requirements are designed to disenfranchise you.

    If you care about equal access to democracy and you believe in the principle of one-person one vote, then these voter ID requirements are designed to silence you.

    In fact, the only purpose of a voter ID requirement is to keep people from participating in our democracy. And the voter ID requirement has become part of a playbook that is being executed in every state in the nation. Full participation in democracy should not be a partisan issue, but it has become one. The conventional wisdom used to be that bigger turnout helped Democrats, but the 2004 election turned that wisdom on its head – in 2004, Republicans won with record turnout. Yet even after proving that Republicans can and do win in big turnout elections, the Republicans have chosen to make voter suppression and turnout depression one of their key plays.

  2. The Republican Party has a vested interest in keeping election night turnout as low as possible. Whether it be Ken Blackwell’s efforts to create several hours-long lines at inner-city polling stations by allocating two or three voting machines per Ohio precinct, or Florida putting out lists of voting-ineligible felons, more than 97% of whom were not felons, there is absolutely nothing the Republican Party won’t do to disenfranchise voters they deem unfriendly. Requiring senior citizens and the urban poor to get their hands on a voter ID card is just the latest effort in their only-Republicans-need-show-up-on-Election-Day endgame. Hats off to Ellison for calling a spade a spade.

  3. Of course, it’s all a GOP conspiracy! It’s so simple!

    Give me a break.

    Given the Democrats’ history of voter fraud, from the Chicago machine in 1960 to the ACORN convictions in 2004, I could make a much stronger case that the Democrats want to cheat their way into office.

    Requiring senior citizens and the urban poor to get their hands on a voter ID card is just the latest effort in their only-Republicans-need-show-up-on-Election-Day endgame.

    No, it’s about protecting the integrity of the American voting system. When Iraq has stronger protections against electoral manipulation than we do, there’s a problem.

    The notion that it’s so onerous to get an ID card every few years is ridiculous. It’s not an unreasonable barrier to voting, except for those who have a vested interest in cheating.

  4. Jay, you may also wish to mention that righ tnow a case has been filed in DC Superior court by Ralph Nader regarding voter suppression, intimidation and the like in an attempt to keep him off the ballot in 2004. I read a long detailed article about this and also a news piece on NPR, in which the attorney’s detail emails, letter, phone calls ets implicating key members of the Kerry campaign, the DNC and the SEIU in committing the acts. The attorney’s for Nader are saying they have detailed documented evidence and credible witnesses to back their claim.

    So, its the GOP that is engaged in voter suppression? Than why is it that once again we have yet another example of Democratic impropriety?

    See below the summary of the lawsuit:

    Consumer advocate and three-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader sued the Democratic Party on Tuesday for conspiring to prevent him from running for president in 2004. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Nader, his vice presidential running mate Peter Miguel Camejo and a group of voters from several states. It names as co-defendants the Kerry-Edwards campaign, the Service Employees International Union, private law firms, and organizations like the Ballot Project and America Coming Together that were created to promote voter turnout on behalf of the Democratic ticket. According to the lawsuit the defendants used “groundless and abusive litigation” to bankrupt Ralph Nader’s campaign and force him off the ballot in 18 states.

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