Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The War on Voting

An under reported story in the past year has the GOP's "keep in the vote" efforts in many states:
Today residents of Mississippi will decide whether voters must produce a government-issued ID in order to cast a ballot and voters in Maine will choose whether to keep or overturn a new law banning election day voter registration, which had previously been on the books since 1973.

These votes occur amidst the backdrop of an unprecedented, Republican-led war on voting. Since the 2010 election, at least a dozen states controlled by Republicans have approved new obstacles to voting—mandating government-issued IDs, curtailing early voting, restricting voter registration, disenfranchising ex-felons. Five million voters could be negatively impacted by the new laws, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which found that “these new restrictions fall most heavily on young, minority and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities”—in other words, those most likely to vote for Democrats.

A key component of the GOP’s campaign has been orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which receives substantial funding from the Koch brothers. ALEC drafted mock photo ID legislation after the 2008 election and in five states that passed ID laws in the past year—Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin—the measures were sponsored by legislators who are members of ALEC.
It is rather absurd that while democrats in the house were too chicken shit to attempt legislating during the last 6 months of their term, Republicans make their majorities count, with long term, structural reforms that make it easier for Republicans to remain in power. Unions usually campagin against me? Eliminate collective bargaining! Too many of "those people" voting? Institute laws that depress voter turnout!

Say what you will about today's Republican party, but they are committed to the cause.

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