(67 posts) Fri Jul-08-11 07:12 PM
The GOP’s 2012 Secrete Weapon – Voter Suppression
Isn’t it ironic that a political party that prides itself on SPINS related to adherence to the Constitution, morality and values surrounds itself with elected officials who are suppressing American citizens’ Constitutional right to vote? This post is aimed at spreading awareness regarding Republican-led voter suppression actions; exposing the implications of voter suppression as it pertains to specific populations, and sharing ideas on how to deal with it.
OHIO: Republican-led state legislators passed an election-law overhaul that lets poll workers REFUSE to help people find where to vote. The law now states, “It is the duty of the individual casting the ballot” to ensure they’re in the right place, and no one else – not even taxpayer-funded election officials – are required to help them.
WISCONSIN: Republican-led state legislators have slashed early voting days and require LIMITED types of government-issued photo identification to vote. College students’ current state university IDs will NOT suffice.
FLORIDA: Republican Governor Rick Scott signed a bill that sabotages the early voting process, penalizes voters who move between registration and Election Day, and seeks to intimidate voter registration volunteers who make registration more accessible to seniors, low-income people and people of color.
TEXAS: Republican-led state legislators passed a law to REJECT college student ID’s and ACCEPT hand gun license ID’s.
The above examples are only the tip of the iceberg, 30 states have passed laws to REJECT college student ID’s, but will ACCEPT hand gun license ID’s, and 29 states will only accept government issued ID’s.
When I conducted a web search regarding the NATIONAL IMPLICATIONS surrounding the voter ID suppression issue, I came across a fascinating piece on the Demos – Ideas & Action website. In March, 2011, Toya Andrea Wang (nationally recognized election reform, voting rights, political participation expert and Senior Democracy Fellow at Demos) appeared before the Ohio House State Government and Election Committee to present a speech entitled “Implications of the HB 159 Voter ID Bill for the State of Ohio”. Ms Wang’s speech was, specifically, aimed at discussing the fiscal costs of implementing photo ID provisions for voting in Ohio – not national voter suppression per say. However, what fascinated me were the national figures presented in her speech:
1. “Eleven percent of the U.S population does not have the type of identification required by these laws. As many as 887,000 may lack a government-issued photo ID to vote.”
2. “Young people and students are particularly harmed by photo ID requirements.”
3. “African Americans, Latinos and new American citizens are far less likely to have identification.”
4. “Low income Americans are disenfranchised. A national survey by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University reflects that Americans earning less than $35,000 were twice as likely to lack ID as Americans who earned more than that. “
November, 2012 may seem far away, but it’s within a ‘blink of the eye’ when it comes to protecting your voting rights from now. Start or participate in GRASS ROOTS VOTER EDUCATION CAMPAIGNS. Begin by conducting a web search. Here are a few keywords you can use in your search:
• (fill in your state) voting requirements
• (fill in your state) voter registration
• (fill in your state) board of elections
• (fill in your state) voter education campaigns
• (fill in your state) voter education
• (fill in your state) voter education and information
• (fill in your state) voter education grass roots organizations
• national voter education organizations
Most importantly, SHARE the information you find with your family, friends, acquaintances, coworkers, neighbors, professional colleagues, fellow college students, the blogosphere, You Tube, Twitter and/or Facebook “friends”.
Spread the word. Everybody’s right to vote, LITERALLY, depends on it!