Archive for voter suppression – Page 2

New and improved No. Carolina voter suppression? Arrest African Americans on Election Day!

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new and improved

Hey chums! Enjoying North Carolina's restrictive Voter I.D. laws? Wish there were more where those came from? Well, sadly, no new laws have been introduced... yet.

But what the hey! Who needs new laws when North Carolina police can disenfranchise voters simply by-- wait for it-- arresting them!

Yesiree, neighbors, it's voter suppression time, new and improved! Tell a friend! In fact, tell all your white buddies! But shhh, don't let those black folks in on the dirty little secret.

Via The Institute for Southern Studies:

Residents of Mount Gilead, a town of about 1,100 people in central North Carolina, are reeling from a police sting operation that netted 59 arrests the morning of Election Day. All of those arrested were African Americans, all for possession of drugs, alcohol and guns. Some there are questioning the timing of the bust and believe it was an attempt to intimidate African Americans from showing up at the polls that day.

It goes without saying that the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, a civic-minded public official, would be more than a little knowledgeable about such matters as, you know, election days... right?

Right??

But North Carolina Department of Public Safety spokesperson Patty McQuillan said she doesn't believe it had anything to do with elections. "I didn’t even know it was Election Day... It's so hard to find a date where there isn't this or that thing happening," said McQuillan. "It's almost impossible to schedule anything because there is always something going on."

Yeah, you paranoid black people, there's always something calendared. If it isn't one thing it's another. Pesky events like voting day are always messing up everything!

So, see? She didn't even know! Who can blame someone who doesn't even know? I mean, come on, why would anyone in her position be expected to know when Election Day falls?

Why, the next thing you know, she'll be criticized for coincidentally arresting a whole bunch of African Americans on Sign Up for Voter ID Day!

Silly us. Everyone just leave Patty alone.

jim crow voter suppression smaller

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VIDEO: The most important election you haven't heard of

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voter suppression doj can't tell us what to do

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Chris Hayes:

In August, [the mayor of Pasadena, Texas] started pushing a plan to shrink the number of districts from eight to six, and replace those two with at large seats to be voted on by everyone in Pasadena.

And by everyone, we mean the town's white voting majority.

One of two Hispanics on the council, Cody Ray Wheeler.:

He decided to make a full power grab and he didn't care who you'd have to step over to get it.

Hayes:

To the community, the goal of the plan was clear: Dilute the power of the Hispanic vote and hand two seats to the majority white voting population, ensuring the citywide majority white voting population could band together and retain their power.

Wheeler:

What this effectively does is give the south part of town, the Anglo part of town, the majority of the council.

Hayes:

It turns out this is precisely the sort of thing Section Five of the Voting Rights Act was designed to block. In fact, Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited this precise type of discrimination from a pre-Section Five world when the Voting Rights Act came before the court earlier this year.

Justice Ginsburg:

These second generation barriers including racial gerrymandering, switching from district voting to at-large voting...

Hayes:

Did you hear that? At-large voting. It's the oldest trick in the book and it's so immediately recognizable that when a neighboring Texas town of Beaumont cooked up a similar at-large plan, it was blocked by the Justice Department in December 2012.

But then, the Supreme Court killed Section Five of the Voting Rights Act...

Now that Section Five is dead, there are thousands of potential Pasadenas all across the South.

voting rights ginsburg comment

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The States Plot To Subdue Black Votes - It's Criminal

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No vote

Why are 4.3 million US voters being denied their right to vote? It's not that they lack the proper identification. It's that 31 states have decided that if you've committed a felony, you lose your right to vote -- forever.

Is that fair? Is it right? Well, there's more behind it than just a form of continuing punishment in perpetuity.

The right to speech, to religion, the right to due process and the right to own property are not denied to the formerly incarcerated. So what's really behind this? You probably won't be surprised. Race.

The fear that a felon can't reintegrate into society is the great misconception. Felons are people too. What separates them from us is they're people who made a mistake. We may hate their crime, but we don't have to hate them forever... unless of course, you're a crime and punishment Republican. In that case, take out the fuel and the matches to stoke the flames of fear.

Racial fear.

Consider this: one in three Black men in the US, of voting age, is denied the right to vote by state restrictions for felons. In 2010, that was 5.8 million men. They made a bad decision somewhere in their lives. And they paid for it, whether it was murder or simply drug possession. If you do the time you should be fine. In less than half the states, that's true.

In those places when they're released, they're not whole. They're stigmatized as second class citizens. That opens the door to recidivism, not an incentive to make the best of a second chance. It builds up resentment and a disenfranchisement. Hardly the desired effects of the deterrent of prison.

Isn't it time to let a man or woman pay his/her debt society and welcome them back? Watch this segment from The Cycle. Restoring voting rights isn't a risk. It's a reward for making amends and paying one's debt to society.

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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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Fed Up: Special Comment by my 76-year-old friend

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fed up

My impassioned “72-year-old”  friend (who is now 76, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings of frustration about the state of politics and our dysfunctional Congress. I am more than happy to oblige, especially because I feel the same way.

This rant reminds me of one I did awhile ago: We have no choice. It might be time to revive that one.

Now on to "Fed Up." But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Now for his Special Comment:

FED UP

Like most Americans, I'm FED UP with the dysfunctional government we have.

I'm FED UP that there is a segment within the Republican caucus that refuses to compromise.

I'm FED UP that Republicans have more loyalty to a pledge they signed with Grover Norquist, to never raise taxes, forgetting the oath they took when sworn into office.

I'm FED UP that Republicans in Congress would rather spend government funds on phony investigations than pass a jobs and infrastructure bill, that would create jobs for millions of people, which would move our economy forward.

I'm FED UP with all the hate and racism that exists in our country.

I'm FED UP that the leaders of the Republican Tea Party don't denounce the use of racist remarks, hateful signs and pictures, displays of the Confederate Flag at rallies they attend in Washington D.C. and in their home states.

I'm FED UP with the disrespect shown President Obama and the office he holds. This has been going on since Joe Wilson yelled "You lie!" during a speech President Obama was giving to a joint session of Congress.

I'm FED UP that, after five years, there are still Americans who don't consider President Obama an American citizen or a Christian.

I'm FED UP with a party that lost a national election in 2012, that tries to use a government shut down and threat of default on national debt to force their ideology on Americans-- which the people had rejected-- and in the process, cost the country $24 billion.

I'm FED UP that a political party felt shutting down the government was a good thing, and brags about it and is threatening to try it again in 2014.

I'm FED UP that there are members in Congress who got elected with the sole intent of destroying the government.

I'm FED UP that the Republican Party is trying to defund and kill the Affordable Care Act, knowing full well it can't be done, in the process wasting more government funds.

I'm FED UP with members of Congress willing to cut funds that help those Americans in need while continuing to provide subsidies to farmers and oil companies, plus they refuse to close tax loop holes that benefit the rich.

I'm FED UP that states have or will enact laws to suppress the voting rights of Americans, when voter fraud doesn't exist in the country.

I'm FED UP that states have passed laws that don't allow women to control their own bodies.

I'm FED UP that the Evangelical Christians wanting to impose their religious ideology on all Americans and want to bring down the wall separating church and state.

I will continue to be FED UP, until these issues are addressed, or we will remain an extremely divided country pulling in different directions.

It's sad thing to say, but we are becoming a government, that unless one party controls Congress and the presidency, the chances of any important legislation getting done is almost nil.

That why it is extremely important for Democrats to vote in 2014 if we want to retain control of the Senate and possibly gain control of the House. Americans better begin to wake up and learn; the foundation of our democracy is being threatened by the radical right and it must be addressed.

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.

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Texas Voter ID Scam -- Hey Lady, Where's Your Original Marriage Certificate?

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suggragettes

Ah, Texas. You always find new ways to amaze me. Your fear of Wendy Davis and her rallying women to see the light and toss off the shackles of  GOP oppression in your right-wing state is clearly evident. If you can't get them to vote for you, stop them from voting all together. Now, it's not just enough to show a birth certificate or your driver's license for voter ID in Texas. WOMEN ONLY now need to provide an original marriage certificate -- a certified copy which cost $20 dollars. Isn't this the same as requiring a poll tax?

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