Archive for voter disenfranchisement

Doonesbury: To GOP, voter suppression "just makes good sense!"

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doonesbury jim crow voter suppression single panel

Thank you, Garry Trudeau. Thank you for covering voter suppression again. Thank you for always knowing where to take your brilliant Doonesbury strip. Thank you for not allowing vital issues to die, despite an appalling lack of media coverage. Thank you for boiling it down to a premise so easy to grasp that a Republican could even understand it.

Okay, no.

Thank you for not mincing words. Thank you for making Republicans look as desperate and vindictive as they are. Thank you for pointing out their disdain for civil rights, voting rights, and anyone who doesn't look, sound, or believe as they do.

Thank you for pointing out their hypocrisy and racism. And their misleading messaging.

GOP outreach, my ass.

Thank you, thank you, thank you:

doonesbury jimmy crow is back voter suppression

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Texas Voter ID law snags another one: Former Democratic U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright

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voter id cartoon 2

First Think Progress noted the following:

As early voting begins in Texas, the state’s new, strict voter ID law has thus far flagged a judge, gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, and another state senator as potentially illegitimate voters. 

Then there was that awkward moment when the Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott nearly disenfranchised himself.

Now a former U.S. lawmaker joins the Texas Jump Through Hoops club. Did I mention he's 90 years old? Just a guess, but I'm willing to bet he's voted before, without a hitch.

Via TPM:

Former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright (D-TX) was denied a voter ID card thanks to Texas's strict voter ID law.

"Nobody was ugly to us, but they insisted that they wouldn't give me an ID," 90-year-old Wright said according to the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.

Wright said he previously realized earlier in the week that the identification he had to vote, a Texas Christian University faculty ID and a Texas driver's license that expired in 2010, did not meet the criteria of the new voter ID law.

So now Wright is going to try again, with birth certificate in hand. That ought to do the trick, right? But that's not really the point, is it? The point is that he has to produce his damned birth certificate in the first place after all these years. He's not exactly a voter newbie.

What about those who have no birth certificate because of when, how, and where they were born? Meaning, decades ago at home by a midwife who didn't have a way to issue a birth certificate. Not only is it difficult to produce a new one, it costs money, which is tantamount to a poll tax.

Of course, strict Voter I.D. laws are intended to suppress the vote, especially the Democratic vote. So much for that GOP outreach we keep hearing so much about.

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That awkward moment when the TX Attorney General nearly disenfranchised himself

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karma police

Think Progress:

As early voting begins in Texas, the state’s new, strict voter ID law has thus far flagged a judge, gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, and another state senator as potentially illegitimate voters. Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), voter ID’s most strident defender, was also flagged as a suspicious voter under his own law’s strict criteria.

On his license, his name is “Gregory Wayne Abbott,” but on his voter registration record he's “Greg Abbott.” How does it feel, "Greg"? Or is it "Gregory Wayne"? How do we know both of you are really you? How does Texas know you're not trying to cast fraudulent votes, hmm? Why should we trust you? Because you say we should? Because you're white and relatively well-off?

So Mr. Gregory Wayne Greg Abbott, do you like having your vote being suppressed? Oh wait, it wasn't. That's right. However:

People of color, low-income voters, seniors, and students are most likely to lack the required ID and may not have their votes counted as a result.

They may not be as high profile as Abbott, but their votes should count as much as his do.

Now let's find out why Gregory Greg Wayne GregGregory Abbott Abbott got off the hook, and who he owes, big time.

Per Burnt Orange, he has-- ta daa!-- Wendy Davis to thank:

However, thanks to Wendy Davis, Greg Abbott and others will still be allowed to vote because of an amendment Davis added to the Voter ID law which provides voters the opportunity to sign an affidavit to verify their identity. When the bill was being debated in 2011, the State Senator provided the amendment for voters whose names appeared slightly different on their ID than what was on the voter roll. Without the Davis amendment, the Voter ID Law would have pushed away even more already marginalized voters in droves. It also would have also turned away our State Attorney General, one of the most adamant supporters of the Voter ID law who is ready to spend millions of taxpayer funds to keep it in place.

Via onamatopoeia.wordpress.com

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GOP finds solution to their failures: Virginia purges 40,000 names off voter rolls

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voter suppression gop voting only

The GOP just suffered a huge defeat for the infantile, idiotic games they've been playing with our lives and the world economy. The more sane Republicans in the Senate have the appropriate concerns about the behavior of their House colleagues, whose only concerns seem to be getting re-elected and avoiding being primaried by right wing extremists.

The party's approvals are in the toidy and they know it. So what the heck is the Party of Fail to do to become relevant again? Simple!

WaPo:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Virginia elections officials say they have already purged nearly 40,000 names from the voter rolls that are the subject of a lawsuit filed by Democrats seeking to keep those voters registered.

The Democratic Party of Virginia has already filed a federal lawsuit to fight a plan to purge up to 57,000 names. And is it even necessary to mention that Dems say that the list is "riddled with errors"? In fact, county registrars who did their own reviews kept 11,000 names on the rolls.

But 38,870 names are gone. At least for now.

Remember this? Virginia Dems ask Justice Dep't. to investigate GOP firm for alleged voter fraud.

Apparently, Virginia is taking its cues from Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

The moral of the story: When you throw a public tantrum and still don't get your way, eliminate those who are now dying to vote you out.

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Finally: Dep't. of Justice suing North Carolina over voting restrictions

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MSNBC is now reporting that Attorney General Holder has announced the lawsuit against North Carolina. This is about Voter I.D. laws (scroll), voter registration, early voting, and casting ballots in the wrong place (using a provisional ballot) and then not having the vote you cast counted.

Holder also explained that North Carolina intended to prevent voters from casting ballots, aka voter suppression (scroll).

Here are a couple of email alerts explaining:

Politico:

The suit, set to be filed in Greensboro, N.C., will ask that the state be barred from enforcing the new voter ID law, the source said. However, the case will also go further, demanding that the entire state of North Carolina be placed under a requirement to have all changes to voting laws, procedures and polling places “precleared” by either the Justice Department or a federal court, the source added.

Huffington Post:

The lawsuit, which will be filed on Monday and announced at a press conference featuring Attorney General Eric Holder, challenges four provisions of the voting law, known as House Bill 589 and signed by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) last month. Voter advocates have criticized the law as one of the most restrictive voting measures passed since the civil rights era.

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"Today James Crow wears a suit and tie and is much more sophisticated."

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By limiting the number of minority voters, which gutting the Voting Rights Act does, it is likely that fewer Democratic voters will be able to cast ballots. Minority voters, young people, and the poor tend to vote Democratic, so of course, Republican-run states are doing everything they can to eliminate that little problem.

Several states are already moving forward with voting restrictions after the Supreme Court decision. As Think Progress notes, "If these states are any evidence, they may have just opened the door for massive disenfranchisement."

Voters are now seeing that they will be kept from the polls, and they're starting to speak out. The Los Angeles Times is reporting about North Carolina's strict new ID laws that requires papers that are not easy for many people to get. They tell the story of Alberta Currie whose mother gave birth at home, assisted by a midwife. Because of that, there was no birth certificate issued, just an announcement handwritten into the Currie family Bible.

For the first time since 1956, Currie, who is 78, may have to sit out an election.

Even though the ID itself is free in North Carolina, trying to get one means coming up with money to acquire a certified birth certificate, plus getting to a state driver's license office, waiting in line, and showing the possibly unattainable proof of birth and an original Social Security card.

And even if they do provide documents, they have to wait 10 to 20 days to have their IDs mailed to them.

The Times:

[B]ureaucratic obstacles are a part of a blatant attempt to make it difficult for Democratic-leaning voters — particularly African Americans, students and the elderly — to obtain IDs needed to vote.

Most of those same people voted for President Obama. He won because of them.  Currie:

"They're trying to make it as hard as possible for people like me to vote. It takes two IDs to get the ID I need, but how can I get it if I don't have those two IDs?"

Jeremy Collins, a lawyer with the Southern Coalition, said this: "Today James Crow wears a suit and tie and is much more sophisticated."

And Rob Christensen, a reporter for the News & Observer of Raleigh who has covered state politics for four decades, wrote this: "So Republicans moved to Plan B — if you can't win over young people, make it hard for them to vote."

The law also cuts early voting by a week and eliminates same-day registration, early registration by high school students and straight-ticket voting. In previous elections those procedures have been used disproportionately by African Americans and students. [...]

Republicans have produced no evidence of voter fraud. Nor have they explained how cutting early voting and registration combats fraud. Republicans also added provisions to the law unrelated to voter integrity, such as raising campaign contribution limits and making it easier for big-money donors to hide the amount and source of contributions.

More than 600,000 registered North Carolina voters are without a state driver's license or state-issued ID, mostly young, poor, African American or elderly voters. Which means mostly Democratic voters.

One 92-year-old African American woman, Rosanell Eaton, has a driver's license, but there was a typo, so her name didn't match her voter I.D. card. Now she'll have to jump through hoops to get that fixed.

So Republicans, how's that reachy-outy reinvention thing workin' for ya?

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Florida voter fraud investigations come up empty... again

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if at first you don't succeed, fail fail again

JIMCROWCCHIO voter suppression cartoon by Bill Day Caglecartoons.com"JIMCROWCCHIO" via Bill Day, Caglecartoons.com

I will keep writing about this until we see a major change, which means I'll be writing about this for quite awhile:

Voter I.D. laws (AKA poll taxes) that GOP-run states are implementing are completely unnecessary, because voter fraud is nearly non-existent.

Read that again, Republicans: Voter fraud is nearly non-existent.

And Voter I.D. laws prevent voters from voting. Especially elderly voters. And young voters. And non-white voters. And disabled voters. And any voter unable to come up with enough money to buy an I.D. card or pay for a birth certificate request (should they be one of those Americans who never got one or lost theirs).

And any voter who is unable to find and/or afford transportation to an official Voter I.D. agency.

In other words, mostly Democratic voters, which is exactly why GOP-run states are itching to enforce these partisan, unjustified laws.

That’s called “voter suppression.”

Voter identification is fine as long as it's free and easily accessible. Period. Instead, Republicans see it as a way to prevent Americans from practicing the most fundamental expression of democracy.

Back in July 2012, Wisconsin GOP Senator Glenn Grothman said that Voter I.D. laws would help Mitt Romney in a close race.

Romney lost.

But Grothman wasn’t the only one who said that out loud. Remember back in June 2012 when Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R) said Voter ID laws would help Romney win in his state?

Romney lost.

Which brings us to Florida. Former Florida GOP leaders, including Charlie Crist, said that voter suppression was the reason for new state election laws.

Former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer came right out and said that state Republicans tried to suppress the black vote and called his fellow Republicans “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies.”

And via HuffPo, Republican campaign consultant Scott Tranter was on a panel hosted by the Pew Center and came right out and said this:

“A lot of us are campaign officials — or campaign professionals — and we want to do everything we can to help our side. Sometimes we think that’s voter ID, sometimes we think that’s longer lines — whatever it may be.”

Now this, via the Miami Herald Blog:

[N]ine months after the ballots have been counted, where exactly are the culprits of voter registration fraud?

Keep looking because the the Florida Department of Law Enforcement hasn’t found them yet.

On Friday, the agency released the results of two more cases involving allegations of voter registration fraud.

In a probe of the Florida New Majority Education Fund, which aims to increase voter registration among under-represented groups, the FDLE concluded it could make no arrests.

In a second probe, involving Strategic Allied Consulting, a vendor for the Republican Party of Florida, an arrest was made of a man who stole the identity of a former girlfriend’s ex-husband. He admitted to fraudulently filling out two voter registration forms. And that was it.

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