Sunday, September 8, 2013

8 September 2013 Suppressing the vote

Cassi Creek:  Over the last several years, it has become standard policy for the GOP/tea party to respond to their election losses by enacting laws in state legislatures that suppress the right to vote for populations that historically vote for Democratic Party candidates. 
          Various states have been the battlegrounds for such suppressive efforts.  TN has enacted a photo ID requirement that is particularly hard for older citizens to satisfy.  Several other states have used the same tactic in concert with limiting the number of voter registration sites and making them inaccessible by public transport or without using private vehicles.  People on fixed incomes can often not afford to chase over several counties in an attempt to reach a registration point during the limited hours they are open.  The same applies to people who have to miss work hours if they wish to register. 
          Limiting the type of photo id accepted is also viciously effective.  Student IDs may be refused if the student is from another locale.  Purging the polls of voters who may not have voted in primary elections has become commonplace.  Florida hired a Texas firm to purge felons from the lists of voters.  The firm cut large numbers of voters from the rolls based upon names.  They did not bother to confirm identities, thus removing many voters who had the misfortune to share a name with a convicted felon. 
          The decision to target black and Latino voters is readily apparent.  Hopefully it will be loudly denounced in the coming elections. 
          Siting and re-siting polling places to cause inconvenience to voters is happening more and more frequently. 
          In 1956, I was a Cub Scout.  On a Saturday in October, scouts of all ages went door-to-door nationwide.  We hung tags on doorknobs with a simple message, “Get Out the Vote!”  Eisenhower was President.  The GOP and the Democrats wanted every eligible voter to show up on election day and cast a ballot.  Now, the GOP/tea party has a new tag on their doorknob – “suppress the vote” 

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