Last week The Rolling Stone published an interesting article called “The GOP War on Voting”. The Daily Beast mentioned the article and I have condensed it to a series of excerpts which will give you the gist of this GOP strategy to win the election in 2012. It is both a compliment and a criticism when I say that the Republicans will do anything to win. They are more devious than I had imagined. I know it is possible to quote an article and twist the author’s ideas to suit one’s own purpose, but I have tried not do that. This is, as much as possible, in the author’s words, an accurate summary of what the author said.
“In a campaign supported by the Koch brothers, Republicans are working to prevent millions of Democrats from voting next year.”
“[A] new crop of GOP governors and state legislatures has passed a series of seeming disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots.”
The American Legislative Exchange Council has “orchestrated a systematic campaign” to disrupt voting rights. “Thirty-eight states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step in the electoral process, funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire bankers who bankrolled the Tea Party.”
v Kansas/Alabama – require would-be voters to provide proof of citizenship
v Florida/Texas – passed laws that make it harder for groups, like the League of Women Voters to register new voters, by making them subject to criminal charges if mistakes are made
v Maine – repealed a law they have had since 1973 allowing Election Day voter registration.
v Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, and W. Virginia – cut short their early voting periods
v Florida and Iowa – barred all ex-felons from the polls, disenfranchising thousands of previously eligible voters
v Six states, controlled by Republican governors – Alabama, Kansas, S. Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin will require voters to produce a government issued ID – this will hurt more of those voter who traditionally lean Democratic (18% of young voters, 25% of African Americans)
“One of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting” (Bill Clinton to a group of student activists in July)
Republicans say they are trying to prevent voter fraud and famously charged that Democrats used ACORN to register fake voters. An investigation by the Justice Department between 2002 and 2007 found only 86 people convicted of fraud out of 300 million voters. (Paraphrase)
My words: as in so many other areas (like labor unions and benefits), the Republican party seems to be at war with the middle class, even in terms of a right as basic as our right to vote.
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