Thursday, September 21, 2006

Stop the vote

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The New York Times gets it right today:

One of the cornerstones of the Republican Party’s strategy for winning elections these days is voter suppression, intentionally putting up barriers between eligible voters and the ballot box.

The editorial is a response to legislation passed in the House that would establish "onerous new voter ID requirements" -- specifically, mandatory photo IDs with proof of citizenship, "a level of identification that many Americans simply do not have".

What's behind this? Do you even have to ask. This is the Republican Party we're talking about. "The actual reason for this bill is the political calculus that certain kinds of people — the poor, minorities, disabled people and the elderly — are less likely to have valid ID. They are less likely to have cars, and therefore to have drivers’ licenses."

It's unconstitutional, but it's also the Republican way: "America has a proud tradition of opening up the franchise to new groups, notably women and blacks, who were once denied it. It is disgraceful that, for partisan political reasons, some people are trying to reverse the tide, and standing in the way of people who have every right to vote."

Republicans clearly hope to hold onto power by turning voters -- specific voters, largely Democratic voters -- away from the polls. When you've screwed things up as badly and as thoroughly as they have, maybe that's all you've got left.

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For more, see Taylor Marsh, The Democratic Daily, and Kevin Drum (who responds to Stephen Bainbridge's claim that the Democrats' electoral strategy involves voter fraud).

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