Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Joan McCarter at Daily Kos has some posts about voting rights and voter suppression that I highly recommend. The first is Support for voter ID laws linked to 'racial resentment':
So maybe it is all about disenfranchising minorities, just maybe?
A new National Agenda Opinion Poll by the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication reveals support for voter identification laws is strongest among Americans who harbor negative sentiments toward African Americans.
The study finds that racial resentment trumps party affiliation and political attitudes. While they found Republicans and conservatives overwhelmingly support voter suppression (because that's what they do), they found that Democrats and liberals "with the highest 'racial resentment'" also express strong support for the laws.
The second post is Brennan Center: 500,000 won't be able to get 'free' voter IDs:
The Brennan Center, NYU Law School's public policy institute that focuses on democracy and justice issues, has a new report detailing the challenges faced by voters in 10 states with new, restrictive voter ID laws. Those laws ultimately mean that as many as 500,000 eligible voters won't cast ballots because of the insurmountable barriers these laws erect, particularly for rural voters. In other words, yes, these new laws are basically poll taxes.
The cost of the IDs aside, most of these voters don't have access to transportation to obtain the ID. To complicate matters more, in many of these states, the offices that are designated to issue IDs are open infrequently for short periods of time.
Even if someone seeking photo ID manages to travel to an ID-issuing office, there is no guarantee it will be open during regular business hours. In Wisconsin, Alabama, and Mississippi, fewer than half of all ID-issuing offices are open five days a week. None are open on weekends. And some offices maintain truly unusual hours: the office in Woodville, Mississippi is open only on the second Thursday of each month.
The report also provides an extensive look at the scarcity of ID-issuing offices in areas heavily populated by people of color and those in poverty — the exact population that most lack government-issued photo ID.
In 11 Alabama counties within the rural “black belt,” there are more than 60,000 eligible black voters but no driver’s license offices open more than two days per week. In Texas, in 32 counties near the Mexico border, there are 80,000 Hispanic eligible voters but only two such ID-issuing offices. Across the voter ID states, many of the offices with limited hours are located in rural areas with high concentrations of minority voters.
A Wisconsin state court judge found this week that these barriers are a "substantial impairment of the right to vote" guaranteed by Wisconsin's constitution, and blocked the voter ID law from being implemented in Wisconsin.
Voting rights advocates in Minnesota made the same arguments this week before the state's Supreme Court against a ballot measure that would amend the state’s constitution to “require all voters to present valid photographic identification to vote.” This week in the War on Voting: The costs of voter ID:
The measure, which will be decided by voters in November if the state’s high court allows it, also requires “the state to provide free identification to eligible voters.” Yet those IDs wouldn’t exactly be free—at minimum, taxpayers would foot the bill, as would voters who would first need to obtain a $26 birth certificate and travel up to 100 miles to a Department of Vehicle Services office to apply for their ID.
The American Federation of Government Employees Voter Protection Coordinator Mark Vinson says in the video [below], when people conflate having to have a photo ID to fly, to see an R-rated movie, to buy beer, they're willfully missing the point. Those things are all privileges. Voting is a right. Plenty of people are precluded from flying, going out to the movies, or drinking beer because they can't afford to do those things. They shouldn't be stopped from voting because they can't afford it. Making people pay to vote, in any way, is indeed a poll tax. [24th Amendment].