Indulge me for a minute, because I’m going to quote myself. As I said in The GOP plan is working: New voter registration laws could hurt President Obama, the people suffering the worst consequences of the Voter I.D. laws are most often low income voters, the elderly, the ill who can’t leave home, young voters, minorities, and of course, anyone without transportation (or to put it another way, lean Democratic). And to those who say, “Well, there are always absentee ballots,” some states are now requiring Voter I.D. to qualify for those, too.
But Voter I.D. demands are just part of the increasing list of conditions that Republicans are imposing that will disenfranchise voters. There are also voter-registration drive limits, early-voting restrictions, and fewer precincts which means more people waiting in longer lines.
But back to the Voter I.D. laws… Charging for picture I.D.s is tantamount to charging a poll tax. Making them inaccessible is outright voter suppression. And voter fraud (as opposed to election fraud) is virtually non-existent.
Via CNN, the always-sensitive, caring Marco Rubio had this to say about the Voter I.D. laws:
During a campaign stop last month with Romney in Pennsylvania, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a Cuban-American Republican, blew off what he sees as overhyped concerns about showing photo IDs.
People have to show IDs for everything from boarding a flight to renting sports equipment, Rubio reasoned, so why not voting.
“What’s the big deal? What is the big deal?” Rubio asked.
What’s the big deal? Well, preventing millions of Americans from voting is a pretty damn big deal.
By the way, it’s helpful to know that renting sports equipment isn’t a right, Mr. Rubio. Voting is. Every American should be able to vote without being burdened by costs or other insurmountable demands.
The Brennan Center for Justice, a legal think tank at New York University School of Law, rightly calls these laws costly and discriminatory. Again, millions of voters, mostly Democrats, could be disenfranchised:
These new laws could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.
Of course, per a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll (PDF), President Obama is leading Willard Romney 61% to 27% in support among registered Latino voters. So the GOP is nipping that in the bud by cheating them out of their right to cast a ballot.
And Marco, to quote Vice President Biden, that’s a big f’ing deal.