Republicans Continue Their Assault on Voting Rights

June 22, 2011

The Republicans in the General Assembly are bringing back a new version of the old Jim Crow laws that suppressed the African American vote after the Civil War. However, they have expanded the mission. It continues to be the African American vote they are trying to nullify, but over time they have added the poor and young Americans as well.

The Republicans want to prohibit county election officials from sending out absentee ballots and slash the early voting period from 35 days to 21. In person early voting will be reduced to 10 days. However, the most troubling part of the Repbulican plan would require voters to have a government issued ID with thier picture and correct address on it. This obviously will affect the poor and may force them to spend money for a state ID instead of food or medicine. It’s likely some will just not vote. Moreover, I looked at my driver’s license and I have moved two times since it was issued. Will I have to renew my license early so I can vote?

This is a nationwide coordinated effort by the Republicans to take over our country and remake it in their image. E.J. Dionne wrote about this topic in the Washington Post.

An attack on the right to vote is underway across the country through laws designed to make it more difficult to cast a ballot. If this were happening in an emerging democracy, we’d condemn it as election-rigging. But it’s happening here, so there’s barely a whimper.

Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and Wisconsin now have photo ID requirements. In Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island there is pending legislation requiring photo ID’s.

Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Rebublican, is against many of the initiatives the Republicans are trying to enact. House Democratic Leader Armond Budish sent Husted a letter today asking him to oppose the changes his brethren are so passionate about. The Republicans are rushing the legislation through the General Assembly and it could be voted on as early as tomorrow.

What the Republicans seem to forget is voting is not a licsence, it is a right guranteed by the constituion. However the GOP is more concerned with ruling rather than leading. The rationale they give is that they are trying to reign in voter fraud. This despite numerous studies that have shown voter fraud not to be a problem. In fact what the GOP is trying to do is suppress the votes of groups who generally vote for Democrats. What they are really engaged in is at best greedy, at worse immoral.

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2 Responses to Republicans Continue Their Assault on Voting Rights

  1. 1

    I’ve always found it rather sad when a political commentator finds himself without a leg to stand on and so invokes the specters of racism and class warfare. None of this has anything at all to do with Jim Crow laws, preventing African Americans from voting (and by the way if we’re going to invoke this sympathy thing, cry “we’re all equal” just call them Americans and be done with it), or preventing the poor from voting any more than requiring them to be able to READ prevents them from voting.

    In our relatively recent election history we have had a lot of problems with voter fraud in regards to absentee ballots and early voting. So far as the ID is concerned, how dare we make sure that the people who vote are actually legal citizens and thus eligible to vote! Personally I think we should allow all of Canada and South America to come up and dictate American policy through casting fraudulent ballots (sarcasm). This prevents nobody from doing any such thing. The cost of obtaining legitimate identification is negligible and in no way prevents an individual from acquiring medication they may need. Speaking of which, just how many pharmacies do you know will hand out prescription drugs to somebody if they don’t know who that somebody is?

    You’re playing the straw man again, maniac. You’re better than that.

  2. 2

    Good to hear from you DRJ. Hope your doing well.

    I never mentioned the word racism. The Republicans are not trying to suppress the African American vote because they are racist. It’s because they overwhelmingly vote for Democrats.

    If it’s not class warfare then how come the income gap between the rich and the middle class and poor is at its greatest point ever? How come Republican Governor’s are trying to bust unions and cutting programs for the poor, all the while giving tax breaks to the rich?

    In Ohio Governor Kasich cut funding for non-profits, education, and did away with collective bargaining, while giving a tax break to 8% of the richest Ohioans.

    You say in our recent history we have had problems with voter fraud. That is not true. This from E.J. Dionne.

    The laws are being passed in the name of preventing “voter fraud.” But study after study has shown that fraud by voters is not a major problem — and is less of a problem than how hard many states make it for people to vote in the first place. Some of the new laws, notably those limiting the number of days for early voting, have little plausible connection to battling fraud.

    Judge Nathaniel Jones, who retired from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2002 said this.

    Any strategy or program that decreases the tendency of people to step forward and participate is anti-democratic, there are all types of safeguards that can be constructed to ensure there is not an abuse of the process,” and they can be done without suppressing votes.

    And then this Daniel Tokaji, an election law expert at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

    You don’t have to be a law professor to figure out what’s going on here. This is a power grab. It is a transparent by Republicans to make it more difficult to vote.

    You can call me a straw man if you like, but a well respected national columnist, a retired federal judge, and a professor who is a law expert all agree with me. I would liken you to an ostrich. You should really pull your head out of the sand and take a good look around.

    Love ya man.

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The Madrigal Maniac

A Central Ohio Social Worker striving to bring justice to the City of Columbus and the State of Ohio through respectful conversation.

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