Monday, May 12, 2008

One person, one vote

The battlefield for the GOP led assault on voting rights shifts to my home state. Today's NY Times reports,

The battle over voting rights will expand this week as lawmakers in Missouri are expected to support a proposed constitutional amendment to enable election officials to require proof of citizenship from anyone registering to vote.

The measure would allow far more rigorous demands than the voter ID requirement recently upheld by the Supreme Court, in which voters had to prove their identity with a government-issued card.

Sponsors of the amendment — which requires the approval of voters to go into effect, possibly in an August referendum — say it is part of an effort to prevent illegal immigrants from affecting the political process. Critics say the measure could lead to the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of legal residents who would find it difficult to prove their citizenship.

This is a disturbing trend. The Indiana law was noxious enough and now the GOP in Missouri have taken the issue dramatically further. Proof of citizenship goes far beyond the hardship of mere ID requirements and will make voting so difficult that many will likely just choose not to participate. All of this in the name of preventing fraud for which there is little to no evidence.

The article goes on to quote Missouri's Democratic Secretary of State Robin Carnahan in estimating that this law could disenfranchise up to 240,000 voters. Think about that number, nearly a quarter of a million people would not be able to exercise their Constitutional right to vote. All in the name of preventing voter fraud for which proponents of the law can provide no evidence.

This is the legacy of the modern GOP. Personified in people like late Chief Justice William Rehnquist who's legal career began in Arizona by working to disenfranchise African-American and Mexican-American voters. That's the sort of activity that is rewarded in today's GOP - if you can harass and intimidate citizens who are going to vote the "wrong" way out of voting all together then you've got a career ahead of you. See: von Spakovsky, Hans. If you don't play ball on the GOP disenfranchisement game then you will be fired. Just ask the U.S. Attorney's who were purged in late 2006 for failing to be sufficiently obedient to the craven and cynical disenfranchisement agenda. Make no mistake, it is clearly an agenda being driven from the highest points in the Republican Party and has been for decades.

This from the "Party of Lincoln."

1 comment:

jen said...

what kind of ID verification WOULD be acceptable and not voter disenfranchisement? I'm just wondering... I think that all Americans have ID, right? [except maybe NUNS].