START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Apr 12, 2012
Focus: Civil Rights
Action Request: Protest
Location: United States

This is a copy of an article from "Z Magazine".

      Color forwarded their concern about voting rights. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, as many as five million eligible voters could meet difficulties on Election Day 2012 due to new, imposing voter laws. [FIVE MILLION FORMERLY-ELIGIBLE VOTERS!!!!!] There are currently eight states with photo voter ID laws containing specific criteria for what qualifies as "identification" for voting purposes. Some states require that identification be state-issued and only for the state a person is voting in; some prohibit college IIDs; some demand that the full name and address on the card be current; while others require that an ID card has an expiration date. 

      Looking at those stipulations, it's not hard to imagine how low-income citizens, African Americans, Latino Americans, college students, and elderly voters might get tangled up or turned away on voting day.

      The Center estimates that as many as 11 percent of eligible voters lack proper identification right now. For African Americans, it's 25 percent. Other groups like Native Americans, transgendered people, newly divorced, newly married couples or people who've recently lost their homes could all have information on their drivers licenses that reflect names, address, and faces that aren't current. The costs for these groups will be more than an inconvenience: fees for new birth and marriage certificates, hours lost waiting in lines for updated materials, and transportation costs to handle it all.

      Republicans in state legislatures around the country have tried to pass these laws for years. In 2010, when Republicans not only took over Congress, they became majorities in state legislatures across the country, one of the chief items on their agendas was changing the rules of the voting game. An example is Tennessee, which for the first time since the Civil War saw its House of Representatives, Senate, and governor's office all controlled by Republicans. They quickly passed new voter ID laws and last year made headlines when a 96-year-old African American was denied an ID to vote.

      A great deal of funding comes from the Koch Brothers, who've vowed to remove President Obama from the White House by any means and billions of dollars if necessary. Another player is ALEC -- the American Legislative Exchange Council -- a body that includes banks and corporations working alongside Republican legislators to craft laws that would dismantle not only voter rights, but also environmental and labor protections.

      The states are perverting and exploiting civil rights laws in order to pretend that racial discrimination has been completely eradicated. Some even point to the election of the first black president and the record turnout of voters of color in 2008 as evidence that no traces of discrimination are left in the system. Instead, they claim to trace voter fraud to "people voting with the names of other displaced, deceased, or fictionalized voters" and argue this is why voter IDs are needed.

      All the data shows that instances of voter fraud are negligible at best. The voter fraud argument is in many cases a ploy to disguise the racial animus that fuels the voter ID push as well as to keep "illegal immigrants" from voting.




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Posted: Apr 12, 2012 1:08pm


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