“What’s the big deal with showing your ID when you go to vote? Won’t it keep down voter fraud?”
This is the question most people ask when they first learn of the opposition to laws requiring that people who wish to vote present photographic identification at the polls. The big deal is disenfranchisement. A person who has the right to vote is precluded from doing so. How does this happen? Let me explain:
Elections are won by garnering the most votes. This is true for almost every election except that of the Presidency, there is an entire process above the popular vote called the Electoral College which I won’t explain here. That is for another chat beside another fire. One way to garner the most votes is by simply getting more people to cast their vote in your favor, the other way to garner the most votes is to preclude citizens who are likely to vote for your opponent from exercising their right to vote at all. This is why voter identification (Voter ID) laws are a vital tool in elections. Minority voters are less likely to possess the state issued photographic identification. In many cases those who were previously able to exercise their right to vote will no longer be able to vote. In the 2008 election, a whopping 96 percent of African-American voters cast their vote for Barack Obama.
The GOP is panicking.
This woman is absurdly cute. She must be stopped. Photo by John Rawlston.
The GOP’s war on voting is marching inexorably onward. The GOP knows that they are outnumbered by Democrats, and that the way they win is to depress voter turnout.
And if they can’t depress voter turnout (by astroturfing, calling President Obama a Republican1, and pushing the narrative that both parties are the same2 — a notion that is provably false), then they’re going to outright suppress it with stringent voter ID laws that amount to nothing more than a 21st century poll tax.
As Zandar recently noted:
Restrictive voting laws in states across the country could affect up to five million voters from traditionally Democratic demographics in 2012, according to a new report by the Brennan Center. That’s a number larger than the margin of victory in two of the last three presidential elections.
The new restrictions, the study found, “fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities. This wave of changes may sharply tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election.”
The following new development in Tennessee underscores Republican desperation as they continue to try to ensure that The Browns™, The Poors™, and The Whippersnappers™ are disenfranchised.
From Think Progress:
Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King is waxing nostalgic about the good ol’ days of the 18th century.
Want to know where Republicans would like to go on the issue of voter suppression? Rep. Steve King just dropped a major clue at a House hearing this week on a balanced budget amendment:
As I roll this thing back and I think of American history, there was a time in American history when you had to be a male property owner in order to vote. The reason for that was, because they wanted the people who voted — that set the public policy, that decided on the taxes and the spending — to have some skin in the game.
Now we have data out there that shows that 47 percent of American households don’t pay taxes, 51 percent of American wage-earners don’t have an income tax liability. And it’s pretty clear that there are a lot of people who are not in the workforce at all. In fact, of our unemployment numbers — that run in the 13 or 14 million category — when you go to the Department of Labor Statistics and you look at that data, you can add up those that are simply not in the workforce of different age groups, but of working age, add that number to the number of those who are on unemployment and you come up with a number that was just a few months ago 80 million Americans. Just over a month ago that number went over 100 million Americans that aren’t working.
Now I don’t think they’re paying taxes. But many of them are voting. And when they vote, they vote for more government benefits.
Why should the parasites and the looters and moochers get to vote, anyway, right? Continue reading