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Republicans Winning the War of Disenfranchisement
Posted on Oct 31, 2013
When Wendy Davis, reigning champion of the Texas legislative filibuster and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, went to vote this week in a local election, the poll tender noticed her name on the roll and her driver’s license differed slightly. And at first, she wasn’t allowed to vote (she eventually did after signing an affidavit).
Other women in Texas and elsewhere have suffered similar problems under the new tide of repressive voter ID laws, as have those lacking the cash to transport themselves to sometimes distant offices to get a voter ID card. Latinos, whose sometimes lengthy names can show up one way on the voter roll and another on their driver’s license, have also been affected.
In the months since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act as no longer necessary, Republican-controlled states—which have already gerrymandered us into the most inept Congress in history—are falling over themselves to enact voter ID laws aimed at limiting the turnout among demographic groups that tend to vote Democratic. Some are making no secret of it.
Over at the National Journal, Norm Ornstein wraps up some of the egregious changes:
As Ornstein points out, most Americans believe voting is a constitutional right, though there is nothing definitive in the Constitution giving citizens that power. He says it’s about time we fixed that with a constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to vote. That, he notes, would shift the argument from voter fraud and “an opening for severe restrictions on voting by many groups of Americans” to voting as a right, forcing those who would restrict to find new reasons.
A national debate on such an amendment, he argues, “would alert and educate voters to the twin realities: There is no right to vote in the Constitution, and many political actors are trying to take away what should be that right from many millions of Americans.”
—Posted by Scott Martelle.
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