Voter ID laws are a Republican ploy to disenfranchise poor and minority voters

There’s no denying it: The GOP is systematically attempting to make it so that black, Hispanic, and poor voters will not be able to vote as easily as the GOP “angry, white man” base. Aside from the fact that there is no voter fraud worth mentioning anywhere in the United States, and aside from the fact that we never seemed to have this problem before we had a black president, and aside from the fact that recent census data shows population shifts that weaken white voting blocs (a clear motivator in the magical urgency behind voter suppression efforts), and aside from the fact that we have laws in traditionally racist states being blocked by the courts, and aside from the fact that Florida has laws which specifically target the Sunday prior to the election when black churches bus people to polling locations for early voting, we have GOP leaders saying things like this:

It isn’t necessarily that this is all racially motivated. The primary impetus for these 19th century measures is more or less political. The GOP knows it only does well amongst a certain, homogenous group, so it makes sense for them to pass laws that hurt everyone else. This has been their MO for the past two years: Whine about budgets and deficits and liberty and freedom, but do nothing except pass measures demanding the government be involved in women’s health care and laws that stop black and Hispanic people from voting.

Of course, while the primary purpose is an interest in getting reelected, there is an overt disregard for not only minorities and the poor, but for the very heart of democracy itself. I need not spell out how genuinely disgusting that is.

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15 Responses

  1. Did you happen to see PA Senator Daylin Leach debate this guy on Fox last Sunday? Turzai stumbled all over his note cards trying to falsify the truth because Leach put him in his place about Voter ID!

  2. “Quick! The man on the grassy knoll!”

    That’s what you sound like.

  3. I suppose that requiring an ID to work in the US, to buy alcohol, cigarettes, firearms, etc., all those requirements are constructed to make sure that Hispanics or blacks can’t drink or smoke and so on.

    I didn’t realize how racist everything and everyone was everywhere and all the time. It’s a good thing we require an ID to drive, because, well shit, if we didn’t there might be minorities on the road!

  4. @Nate, that’s not necessarily true. The big issue in PA is that they’ve changed the *types* of ID that are acceptable to vote — for example, students can no longer use college IDs unless they have an expiration date and seniors who no longer drive cannot use their military IDs like before (because the expiration date will not be current). These are just two examples and, yes, these folks can technically get a valid state photo ID, but the requirements to do so are lengthy and difficult for many of the aforementioned demographics (poor, homeless, elderly, students, women, minorities, etc)

  5. I suppose that requiring an ID to work in the US, to buy alcohol, cigarettes, firearms, etc., all those requirements are constructed to make sure that Hispanics or blacks can’t drink or smoke and so on.

    None of those things are rights.

    I didn’t realize how racist everything and everyone was everywhere and all the time.

    The problem is that you don’t think a single example of racism exists anywhere any of the time. Hell, you once defended the Civil War as more economically motivated than anything.

    The fact is, there is overwhelming evidence that the Republican party is attempting to disenfranchise a large class of voters and it so happens that most of those voters are black or Hispanic. That doesn’t necessarily make them racists – though, we all know it is true that racists vote Republican – but it does make their actions, at best, racially callous.

  6. The Republicans have long known that decreasing voter turnout is crucial to their success in elections. The only difficulty is in finding ways to do it that aren’t blatantly obvious (kinda like trying to sneak religion into schools by calling it “intelligent design”).

    If every eligible voter in America actually voted, the Republicans would never win a single election–and they know it.

  7. No Michael, the problem is that you think racism is the answer, the explanation, for everything. And surely firearm ownership is a right. I think we have a court ruling that says that somewhere. Felons in many places lose their right to vote along with firearm ownership.

    If voter ID is such a blatant example of racism, when I think it’s actually liberal condescension, why did the overwhelmingly democrat, overwhelmingly liberal, Rhode Island legislature also pass a voter ID law in 2011?

    Why was it signed by a liberal governor? Why was it supported by black and Latino legislators?

    And one last thing, in what way does something not being a right mean it can’t be racism? If all these voters, who can’t drive, who can’t smoke, who can’t drink, who can’t buy sudafed, can’t hold a job, have something to complain about, it isn’t requiring ID to vote, its the apparent restrictiveness or expense of the ID process.

  8. No Michael, the problem is that you think racism is the answer, the explanation, for everything.

    Interesting then that I haven’t used that here at all.

    And surely firearm ownership is a right.

    Bait and switch. Owning a firearm certainly is a right. Buying one is not.

    If voter ID is such a blatant example of racism

    Where have I said that? I called it racially callous because the GOP knows they are specifically targeting black and Hispanic people, but I do not recall saying it was racist.

    Why was it signed by a liberal governor? Why was it supported by black and Latino legislators?

    Because all politics are local? Because they won’t immediately require picture ID? Because they provide provisional ballots for those who don’t have ID? Because they will provide free photo ID’s to those who need them in 2014? Because their bill doesn’t specifically target the Sunday prior to election day when the black churches bus people to early voting locations?

  9. I’ll give you a break on numbers 1 and 3, because I did go a little further than what you specifically said here. Understandable I think with the amount of media attention being given to the subject as of late. I admit I didn’t reread the original post before making that last comment.

    On number 2 however, that’s pure sophistry and I think you know it. The right to own arms presupposes the right to buy them. Maybe that isn’t what you were trying to say, but that is what I’m getting out of it. If you simply mean, and if so I agree, that you have the right to own them but not be supplied with them, you should hold the same to be true of voting. You have the right to vote, but the government can impose modest restrictions or requirements. If an ID is a bar to voting, it is a bar to firearms acquisition to exactly the same extent.

    With number 4, I’m not disputing some of those points, I’m disputing whether the requirement of identification is something inherently discriminatory or whether it is perfectly reasonable or perhaps even desirable. Some of the provisions of these laws are foolish and should be stripped away.

    If you sat down and read the Obamacare law, even you as a strong supporter would get red faced over certain provisions. Ideally I think voter ID laws would consist of the following:

    1. Government issued photo ID is required.
    2. Basic identification is provided at no cost, at the very least to those 17 or older. (some states, like Maine, permit 17 year olds to register to vote and cast ballots in primaries if they will be 18 by the general election)
    3. The ID issuance process confirms voter eligibility. (a la I-9)
    4. Provisional ballots may be submitted without ID, and confirmed later, but will not be counted unless the election is closer than the number of uncounted ballots. (I think some states do this with absentee ballots already, it’s a waste of time to count 50,000 ballots if the candidate won by 100,000 votes)

    Like I said, the concept of voter ID laws doesn’t seem like it’s a problem to anyone, just the odd provision or two.

  10. Is Wal-Mart required to sell you their reams of paper because you have a write to free speech?

    …I’m disputing whether the requirement of identification is something inherently discriminatory or whether it is perfectly reasonable…

    Where is all the voter fraud?

  11. Wal-Mart? No, of course not, but you seem to be grasping at straws because that doesn’t seem to be the same argument you were making. The argument you seemed to be making was, “you have the right to vote but not to have your ballot counted” or as you put it, “you have the right to own arms but not the right to buy them”. The bill of rights restricts government, not my interaction with other people.

    I have a right to free speech but others don’t have to listen. They don’t have to sell me arms either. The government can’t step in and bar me from speaking to other or prohibit the sale of firearms.

    I don’t care whether the is or is not voter fraud. If this is about a lack of fraud than what in the hell is voter registration for? You can make the same arguments about registration as you can about voter ID requirements. As the heathen Republican has pointed out, there is value in perceptions, and policies that increase confidence in the process therefore have value. If you are against ID, you should be against registration. At least if you have any knowledge about what is required to register and you want to be honest.

  12. Hmm. I was unaware the GOP has been in power in Canada for decades. Those cunning bastards.

  13. Canadian demographics are significantly different from those down here, so I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two. Moreover, I don’t know of any Canadian laws that target the Sunday before election day when black churches bus people to early polling stations.

  14. Oh I’m sure the devil’s in the details, as it were. My point is less to defend whatever law is currently under review in Pennsylvania, but to point out that an entirely reasonable voter ID law is compatible with a healthy democracy.

  15. Which has pretty much been my point as well. I, for one, just don’t buy into all the vast right wing conspiracy stuff. The Sunday before isn’t automatically unreasonable simply because predominately black churches bus people to the early polls. The same is probably true of hundreds of other organizations, including ones that are, for whatever reason, of a traditionally more conservative flavor.

    So like I’ve been saying and what Hortensio said, the devil is in the details. If some part of the voter ID laws are crappy, argue against those. I’ve noted while I’ve been reading about all these different laws that a large number of older Americans also allegedly don’t have ID’s, a group that usually votes republican. Republicans have also made great strides with several minority groups that haven’t traditionally been strong supporters, not to mention with independents on this go around.

    So, I’m just not sure the evidence is there for deliberate targeting of blacks or whomever else. The big problem in my mind is why the hell don’t people have ID? I have a cousin a year younger than I am, I just taught her to drive and she only got her license about 3 months ago, that was her first government ID. In Maine, the damned state ID’s are only $5. All of this once again begs the question of how do these people have jobs?

    Employment eligibility has to be established via a form called the I-9. I employ myself and I had to fill that damned thing out, have myself check myself for my ID and such, than keep it on file in case I ever need to prove that I’m not employing myself if I am in fact here illegally. Wrap your head around all of that.

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