Regular readers know how often I fume about voter suppression, especially in light of the appalling Voter I.D. laws (scroll) popping up all over the country:
Again, new voter registration laws could hurt President Obama. And as I have said over and over again, in many, many posts, 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.
Access (transportation) to Voter I.D. centers is one reason so many people are unable to get a new picture I.D. Another is that it costs money, including paying for a copy of a birth certificate or other documents one might need to acquire a new I.D. Hence, Attorney General Holder’s reference to a poll tax.
Remember: Voter fraud is rarer than getting struck by lightning. If Republicans are so concerned about it, despite evidence to the contrary, then take steps to provide identification at no expense, physical or monetary.
To repeat, the poor can’t afford to choose between food and other necessities for their families and paying twenty-plus dollars for a picture I.D. (and as much as $200); but if they choose food, they are prevented from voting. Texas’ Voter I.D. law is tantamount to a poll tax that would result in exactly that scenario, so A.G. Holder was spot on.
Here are all our posts on voter suppression. This is a huge issue that needs more attention.
Florida Republicans conspired to dampen voter turnout among African Americans, according to a former top party official currently battling criminal fraud charges. [...]
Former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer has filed a lawsuit against his former colleagues, saying he was improperly denied a $130,000 severance package after being forced out his leadership position. In a deposition recorded in late May, Greer described a party that had fallen into disarray and become divided between competing factions. [...]
In addition to saying the Florida Republican had come under the sway of “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies,” he claimed that party leaders met and discussed ways to suppress the black vote.
Now Jim Greer is not exactly Mr. Perfect, but calling them “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” does have a ring of truth to it, and he said that under oath in a deposition.
His exact words about voter suppression: “They talked about not letting blacks vote” and that party officials believed that “minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party.”
I think we can safely say that minority outreach isn’t a priority for the GOP.
Meantime, a federal judge won’t block the Florida voter purge, so you can see why Greer’s testimony is meaningful.
And now, because it’s election season and we’ll be extra busy, we GottaAsk. We do so reluctantly and would love to reach our goal so we can stop asking already!
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