United States Republicans attack voting rights


This video from the USA says about itself:

Veteran Denied the Right to Vote

April 23, 2012 by Steelworkers

Restrictive voter I.D. laws are being passed in many states, making it especially difficult for students, the poor, seniors and minorities to vote. Join Gil Paar in fighting for our rights. Visit www.usw.org/election2012.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Voting rights in America under attack

14 July 2012

The weeklong trial on a new voter ID law in the state of Texas concluded with members of a three-judge federal court panel indicating they would uphold the federal Department of Justice and block the implementation of the law on the grounds that it has a discriminatory effect on minorities.

The Justice Department presented an overwhelming factual case to substantiate the charge that minorities are far more likely to lack the government-issued photo identification required to vote under the Texas law. One expert witness testified that 11 percent of white registered voters lacked the required ID, compared to 18 percent of Hispanic registered voters and 21 percent of black registered voters. A total of 1.5 million people of all races could be denied the right to vote under the Texas law.

Attorneys representing the Texas state government disputed claims that the law would have a “disproportionate” impact on Hispanic and African American voters and claimed that “only” 167,000 current voters would be disenfranchised by the new ID requirements. Significantly, they never called as witnesses the Texas state legislators and government officials, all Republicans, who drafted and pushed through the new law as a countermeasure to the rapid growth in the Hispanic population in the state. This would have subjected the Republican politicians to cross-examination on their political motives in adopting a law to curb voting by minorities more likely to support the Democratic Party.

Texas attorneys did not dispute evidence that 80 of the state’s 200 counties have no location where photo IDs can be obtained, and that many residents would have to drive more than 120 miles one way to get such an identification card, for a fee of at least $22, a hardship and expense particularly onerous for the elderly and the poor. At one point, Robert Hughes, one of the Texas state attorneys, declared that he also regarded literacy tests as permissible, although they were one of the principal tactics for excluding minorities barred by the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The case mounted by the state of Texas was so poor that it suggests the real purpose of the state lawsuit was to prepare an appeal to the US Supreme Court, making a direct and unprecedented challenge to the Voting Rights Act itself. Texas is one of 16 states required under the Voting Rights Act to obtain “preclearance” by the federal Justice Department of significant changes in election practices, because of their history of official discrimination against racial minorities. This means that the state had the burden of proof to show that the voter ID law had no discriminatory intent or effect.

Texas is only one of the states that have enacted voter ID requirements and other measures aimed at curbing voter registration and reducing the number of people able to vote, in the name of a fight against “vote fraud.” There have been virtually no documented reports of voter impersonation, the type of fraud that could be prevented by a photo ID requirement. Not a single person has been convicted in Texas of such an offense.

In Michigan, according to a report by the Republican secretary of state, out of nearly 1.2 million ballots cast in the February 28 presidential primary, there were half a dozen from people believed ineligible to vote.

In Florida, where the state attempted to purge 182,000 people from the voter rolls from a dubious list of supposed “illegal aliens,” the number was first whittled down to 2,600, then to only 47, after press revelations that the “illegals” on the list included such individuals as the state’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, principal sponsor of the law, and a 91-year-old decorated veteran of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

How Voter Suppression in 2012 Will Erode Reproductive Rights. Charlene Carruthers, RH Reality Check: “There is power in a woman’s right to vote. Since 1984, women have been the majority of the total vote in every presidential election. They will also decide who shapes the future of reproductive health and rights for all women in this country. The power to preserve and expand reproductive rights is inextricably tied the right to vote. But what is power if your ability to leverage that power is stripped away?” Here.

In Pennsylvania, the Rosa Parks of Voter ID Faces Down GOP Voter Suppression: here.

Study: People who “harbor negative sentiments towards African Americans” are also more likely to support voter ID laws: here.

5 thoughts on “United States Republicans attack voting rights

  1. Dear Nation Friend:

    If Mike Bennett has anything to say about it, Florida’s HB 1355 will surely make voting much harder for that state’s minority residents.

    HB 1355 (now under legal challenge), changes the rules for early voting and voter registration, all in an attempt to combat alleged voter fraud — something the Florida ACLU pointed out is rarer in that state than a shark attack. If allowed to stand the bill could unravel years of work by voting rights activists like LaVon Bracy who put it this way: “They put these laws in with the idea that if we discourage enough of them, Florida will not be in Obama’s camp this year.”

    Will you help us keep watch over the wave of voter suppression efforts sweeping the country by supporting Voting Rights Watch 2012? Thanks to the generosity of your fellow readers, we are already halfway to raising the $15,000 we need to replenish our coffers and keep our reporters on the voter suppression beat.

    Nation writers like Ari Berman, Melissa Harris-Perry, John Nichols and Bryce Covert have been all over the story, monitoring right wing attempts to suppress the vote in critical swing states like Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin. And, of course, Brentin Mock, lead reporter for The Nation’s special election year project Voting Rights Watch, is blogging regularly at TheNation.com exposing nationwide threats to democracy in the lead-up to the election.

    Listen here to Brentin describe rightwing efforts to intimidate people of color from voting.

    I wish I didn’t have to ask you for money. But this assault on basic democratic values is raging in an already busy and taxing presidential election year, and our resources are stretched thin. With your support, we won’t have to pull punches, scale back, or take our eye off these efforts to keep voters from the polls come November — whether in the South, the Midwest, anywhere.

    We know times are tough. The pressure on our budget is enormous, too. But we must remain vigilant. As the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. said in a visit to our offices just yesterday, this election is about more than deciding who occupies the White House. It’s about deciding the direction of the nation. Please help us reach our goal of $15,000 to fund our voter suppression coverage. And thank you!

    Sincerely,

    Peter Rothberg
    Associate Publisher, The Nation

    P.S. Right-wing billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch have funded efforts to thwart 21 million Americans from voting and Koch dollars helped write and propose voting suppression bills in thirty-eight states. Please show your support for our reporting today so we can remain vigilant, exposing the right wing’s well-funded efforts to suppress the vote nationwide this November.

    Like

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