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.


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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  • I've often thought that lots of electoral analysis by our pundits is simply a fools game in many respects, as it doesn't do justice to such elements as voter suppression.

    By Blogger josef, at 11:16 PM  

  • The primary problem I have with this voter ID legislation is the fact that it purports to be intended to prevent voter fraud, yet it completely ignores the voter paper trail issue. Unfortunately, that leads me to conclude that those supporting this voter ID bill are simply pushing legislation that they feel would be beneficial to Republican candidates on two fronts. One, it may suppress Democratic voter turnout and it is also being spun as a means to "strengthen border security and crack down on illegal immigration"...a position the GOP feels will benefit them in November.

    Here's my problem. There is little doubt that the GOP has not been motivated to provide effective border security or the means to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants. The failure to enact and enforce measures and methods to combat illegal immigration has been a concession to the business community, which has been the beneficiary of hard working, low wage employees. The system in place for employers to verify employee eligibility to work in the U.S. is a virtual joke and it is so by choice...which makes the current voter ID legislation all the more disingenuous and wholly political.

    Sadly, it appears that the GOP doesn't see any advantage to including these important vote paper trail provisions. It is situations of this nature that lead to voter cynicism in their elected officials as well as the entire political process. Ironically, while we are in the process of "exporting democracy" to other regions of the world, we have U.S. politicians that prefer to manipulate our democracy for partisan advantage. This and other inconsistencies in the application of democracy simply undermine the potential for other nations to believe that the United States is actually an agent for democratic principles.

    Read more here:

    By Blogger Daniel DiRito, at 12:26 AM  

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