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Repost: “You People Have Done All the Voting You Need to Do!”

July 8, 2013

(In the wake of the recent Supreme Court attack on the Voting Rights Act, so enthusiastically received by Neo-Confederate state officials, this seems an appropriate time to repost this entry from August 28,2012)

How Can You Not Connect the Dots?

*33 states now have new voter ID laws. In a wholly partisan Republican initiative, photo ID requirements have quadrupled since 2011.In a coordinated partisan effort; GOP operatives have introduced 180 such bills in 41 of the 50 states, all since 2011. According the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, 16 states with the most restrictive laws “account for 214 electoral votes, or nearly 79% of the total needed to win the presidency.”

*“Prior to the 2006 election, no state required its voters to show government-issued photo ID at the polls (or elsewhere) in order to vote,” the Brennan Center noted.

*No state prior to 2006: none. This is entirely new, nakedly, brazenly partisan, and openly intended to suppress minority voters and all likely Democratic voters.

* Recently, former Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer, under oath, stated “At a December 2009 meeting, the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting” and “how minority-outreach program were not fit for the Republican Party.”

*As a 2004 Vanity Fair article noted, “Florida is a state with a history of disenfranchising blacks,.” In the botched and fraudulent 2000 election that made George W. Bush president, Florida had sent out a list of 50,000 alleged ex-felons to the counties instructing them to purge those names from their rolls. It turned out that list included 20,000 innocent people, 54% of whom were black. (remember, Bush’s Florida margin of victory in 2008, which gave him the presidency, was 537).

*”No one could give me an example of all this fraud they speak about,” said Mike Sasano, a Florida Republican state senator who opposed the new restrictions. Law enforcement in Florida received only 31 complaints in 3 years of suspected possible voter fraud. Investigation resulted in a grand total of 3 arrests.

*The ACLU reports that “instances of voter fraud are almost nonexistent—nationally, the Department of Justice found just 26 cases over a three-year period.”

*A review of a South Carolina state government list of 900 dead voters showed all had died after the election and no one had since voted in their name. The list itself was the real voter fraud–the only documented evidence of voting fraud in the state. Pennsylvania was also unable to document a single case of voter fraud during the last ten years.

*21,000,000 voters lack government-issued photo ID while many state and local officials are making obtaining such ID increasingly difficult. For example, 25% of Texas counties have no DMV office. Other states have closed DMV offices.

*According to the Brennan Center, the number of Pennsylvania voters without government-issued photo ID with an expiration date on it, is greater than Obama’s 2008 margin of victory. What a coincidence.

*Efforts are underway to eliminate or reduce early voting, reduce voting hours, and deliberately understaffing polling places in select neighborhoods to create discouragingly long waits of hours at a time. Guess which ones?

*“The absurdity of these rules is pretty clear,” says Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. “A Supreme Court judge said he was old and had let his license expire. Could he vote? And we had a member of congress who couldn’t use his congressional ID to vote.”

*Texas officials—specifically: rich, white Republican Texas officials—have declared the Voting Rights Act of 1965 unconstitutional—because these Neo-Confederates say so. They have also barred the use of student IDs for voting while allowing concealed carry permits to serve. That says a lot about Texas values and priorities: books & brains no; guns & bullets, yes!

*Ohio Republican Secretary of State Jon Hustad decreed new restrictions on early voting and weekend voting. When county officials objected, he suspended them and announced he’d fire them. “I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban—read African-American—voter-turnout machine” announced Don Preisse, chairman of the county Republican Party and member of the elections board that just finished voting to contort the process the other direction, away from “the urban–read African-American” voting districts.

*Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Turzai, a Republican, boasted publically of the new GOP-promoted law “Voter ID, which will allow Governor Romney to win Pennsylvania!Done!” It’s in the bag!

*Elderly and/or infirm voters worried about their Medicaid or Medicare? They, too can share in the disenfranchisement. In Pennsylvania, for example, if they never had a Pennsylvania driver’s license, they must journey down to the driver’s license office, fill out an “Application for Initial Photo Identification Card” (Form DL-54A) and sign an “Affirmation Form” stating they don’t have any other acceptable photo ID for voting. “You will also need to bring additional identification—Social Security card and “one of the following: Certificate of U.S. Citizenship, certificate of naturalization, or birth certificate with a raised seal. In addition, you must bring two proofs of residency, such as lease agreements, utility bills, mortgage documents, W-2 forms or tax records.” Can’t find your birth certificate? Then you will need two trips to the driver’s license center. “On your first trip you’ll need to sign the affirmation form and show your Social Security card along with two proofs of residence. Then you’ll need to complete a “Request of Certification of Birth Record for Voter ID Purposes Only” form that PennDOT will send to the PA Department of Health. If they can certify your birth record, they’ll send you a letter which you must take to the PennDOT Licensing Center and proceed with our application for a Photo ID described above.” Just that simple. What’s the problem, you whiners in your wheelchairs?

*This blatant attempt to rig the outcome of the 2012 election is ongoing. I could go on & on with more facts, more figures, more details, more examples, but if you can’t connect these many dots by now, there is little hope for you.

Sources/Suggestions for further reading:

ACLU National Newsletter, summer 2012Ari Berman, “Florida GOP Takes Voter Suppression to a Brazen New Extreme” Rolling Stone, 8/12.

Michael Tomsky, “How the GOP Plans to Block the Black Vote”, The Daily Beast, 2012/08/13

Linda Rhodes: How does Voter ID law affect the elderly? http://blog.pennlive.com/life/

Charles M. Blow, “Where’s the Outrage?”www.nytiems.com/2012/07/28/opinion/blow-where’s-the-outrage.html?

Chuck Strouse, “Voter Suppression Efforts Could Take Out Barack Obama This Fall”http://www.laweekly.com/2012-06-07/news/voter-ID-laws-Florida-voting-rights-act/

Alex Seitz-Wald, “Fla. Republican: We wanted to suppress black votes: http://www.salon.com/2012/07/27/fla_republican_we_suppressed_black_votes/Joseph

Joseph_, “Ohio Republicans finally admit limited hours intended to suppress black voters” http://www.plunderbound.com/2012/08/19/

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