Monday, October 3, 2011

Republicans Again Minimizing the Vote as Election Approaches

Voting rights demonstration, McComb, Miss., 1964.
For the past few decades--for as long as I can remember, in fact--Republicans have worked harder at reducing voter turnout than at governing the country. That's what a minority party does, I'm told, and my guess is that the GOP still looks at itself as a collection of lock-step back-benchers who will never be in control unless they reduce the number of Democratic voters.

The truth is that Dems and Repubs each control about a third of voters and that the other third votes a little of each.

A story in today's New York Times looks at a study of what Republicans have done recently and concluded that they will eliminate about five million people from voting in the 2012 presidential election. In a close election, that could be the difference-maker, much as appointing the right judges to the Supreme Court was the difference in 2000.

Voters who are poor, young, rural, elderly and non-white--overwhelmingly Democratic--are targets of Republican law-makers who control the states where the new laws are being made. Southern Democrats once insisted that voters pass a literacy test or pay a poll tax, in an effort to minimize the Black vote before the Civil Rights Law passed in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Repubs are now demanding photo IDs (in Texas you can show your gun license, but not your student ID) and eliminating recent measures passed to make registration easier and voting more convenient. One estimate is that 11 percent of voting age Americans don't have a government-issued ID card. That's 3.2 million people.

One voting rights expert called Republican efforts "the most significant rollback in voting rights in decades."

The fact is that voter fraud is not a factor. At one time, especially in large cities with big immigrant populations, voter fraud was what made the political machines run. Buying votes with liquor and cigars passed out of our system long ago, replaced by negative political ads and the recent opening of the floodgates of corporate money for candidates, both Republican initiatives. Republicans on the Supreme Court, in fact, went so far as to rule that corporations are living, breathing people in order to make their political contributions legal.

It's a sham, a shame, and a perfect symbol of the deep-seeded corruption that gives us our Third World government.


No comments:

Post a Comment