GOP’s hostility toward the right to vote

WASHINGTON — In America’s tiny towns, isolated hamlets and rural enclaves, lots of poor folks manage to get by without an automobile or the driver’s license that goes along with it. They pay their utility bills in cash at local outposts. They ride to church and to the doctor’s office and to the grocery store with neighbors or nephews.

They never travel by airplane. Indeed, many never leave the county in which they were born and will almost certainly be buried. Having grown up in a small place in Alabama, I’ve known many of those folks and transported more than a few.

Yet, despite the limits of their lives, lots of those Americans are regular voters, taking pride in their active participation in a rite of citizenship. That’s especially true for the elderly black Southerners who lived through the stark repression of Jim Crow and the triumphant civil rights movement that, finally, laid him low. They show up at the polls on Election Day to cast their votes for Democratic candidates on the ballot, as they have tended to do since Roosevelt and Kennedy married them to the Democratic Party.

It’s no accident, then, that Republican governors and lawmakers in more than a dozen states are following the lead of Georgia — an early adapter of modern methods of voter suppression — by setting in place strict voting requirements that insist on a driver’s license (or some other state-sponsored form of photo identification). They want to make it inconvenient — preferably impossible — for some of those faithful Democratic voters to cast their ballots, giving the GOP an edge in close elections.

They’re going after young folk, too — especially college students. While Reagan-era college kids tended to be faithful Republicans, the current generation heavily favored Obama in 2008. That has led some Republicans to look skeptically at the 26th Amendment.

In New Hampshire, for example, state House Speaker Bill O’Brien told a group of tea partiers in March that “foolish” college students don’t have the “life experience” to be allowed to vote. Happily, New Hampshire’s Democratic governor, John Lynch, disagrees. He vetoed a highly restrictive voter ID bill there, partly because it would not even have allowed college-issued photo IDs.

But several of those bills have made it into law and will likely be permitted by a U.S. Supreme Court that has fallen for the argument that photographic ID prevents fraud. The high court has upheld a similar statute in Indiana.

Indeed, Republican activists have been quite successful in their campaign to persuade Americans that pervasive voter fraud requires laws that restrict the franchise. But that’s just not so.

Voter impersonation is virtually non-existent. A driver’s license might prevent me from casting a ballot as Halle Berry, but I’m not tempted to try. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t get away with it — even without ID.

I know what you’re thinking: What about ACORN and its massive fraud? Well, quiet as it’s kept, neither ACORN nor its hired hands engaged in voter fraud.

Because of its sloppy management practices, ACORN ended up with a few cheating workers who registered children or ex-felons or others who were not eligible (Mickey Mouse showed up on a list in Florida). But, contrary to the propaganda you’ve heard, not a single vote was affected by those illegitimate practices. Mickey Mouse never showed up at the polls. Nor did any 7-year-olds.

If lawmakers wanted to rein in fraud, they’d target absentee ballots, which are easy to misuse. But Republican lawmakers have made few efforts to restrict them because they believe that absentee ballots favor their constituents — middle-aged, middle-class voters with orderly schedules. They don’t want to inconvenience conservative voters.

But they have no compunctions about narrowing the franchise if they believe they can reap a partisan advantage. That’s un-American, an abuse of the democratic values that we tout to other countries. Don’t conservatives believe in the Constitution?

151 comments Add your comment

SLAP A SOCIALIST... it will make you feel better

June 15th, 2011
5:12 pm

THE EVIL LIBERAL WHITEMAN IS THE WORST OF THEM ALL

Keep Up the Good Fight!

June 15th, 2011
5:22 pm

Dontcha just love it when someone says “I already formed an opinion but if you show me a study I might accept, well then I may reconsider”. A blogger who knows how to poutrage on the “net” but can’t use “the google”

$7 million implementation cost in Wisconsin alone….why that may be less that Mittens probably will have to pay in taxes to “work” the system to avoid being convicted for real voter fraud.

Mary Elizabeth

June 15th, 2011
5:29 pm

“They(more than a dozen Republican governors) want to make it inconvenient — preferably impossible — for some of those faithful Democratic voters to cast their ballots, giving the GOP an edge in close elections.”
———————————————

First of all, thank you for publicizing this very real Republican undertaking, Cynthia, and thank you for your continuously impacting voice. Stay well.

Secondly, the demographic change of this nation is such that the hard Right conservative power base – and their vision – are a dying phenomenon. They may curtail this unstoppable demographic change in the short run, through their coordinated machinations as this column points out, but in the long run, this inevitable demographic change favors the Democratic Party – and its vision for the future of our nation.

The world is becoming more inclusive, not exclusive, and Republicans will, in the future, see that their vision has been a limited one. I hope (and pray) that those who will have power, in the years to come, will use that power to promote a more equitable society and will not fall victim to the temptation of corruption and self-serving interests that power usually brings with it.

George Washington relinquished power as a model to future leaders of this nation, and Martin Luther King, Jr. showed – through his unyielding adherence to nonviolence – that this nation can only fulfill the lofty vision of its founders for its greatness when it demonstrates grace and generosity-of-spirit, not brutal power. Let future leaders, who will later hold power in our nation, remember this and apply it.

Common Sense

June 15th, 2011
6:24 pm

You have to pay a fee to exercise your Second Amendment Rights in the state of Georgia. So what’s the big deal on showing ID?

Grow up Cynthia!

Mike K.

June 15th, 2011
6:28 pm

Cynthia and the Democrats can’t get enough of the excessive government regulations that makes it difficult to impossible for businesses to operate, but they have a problem with requiring someone to show an ID to vote? Perhaps they would support a law allowing people to buy hand guns without showing an ID – after all, bearing arms is also a right guaranteed by the Constitution.

Also, perhaps they would support a law making an ID sufficient for flying. I’m tired of half-undressing every time I fly.

Paddy O

June 15th, 2011
6:36 pm

this is more circuitous logic. She know people who could be negatively affected by the law (and apparently to inept to adapt), who also just happen to be black, so the law was written to intentionally prevent them from voting – which, as she admits, is an exercise in brainwashing.

Paddy O

June 15th, 2011
6:41 pm

people must remember that the state was sued over this, and the plaintiffs were given six to twelve months to find a person who was actually damaged by the scenario being regurgitated here by Ms. Tucker, they failed to locate that person – which indicated they no longer had standing to perpetuate the lawsuit – and the suit was dismissed. watch for demagogues who attack an idea with an asinine, unrealistic example of the potential impact. the Tuckers & Hannity’s in our realm of modern day journalism do it quite frequently (intellectual dishonesty to say the least).

Kamchak

June 15th, 2011
6:45 pm

people must remember…

Geez, more imperatives.

Does this constant exposure to imperatives on talk-radio and Fox News brainwash you so well that you honestly believe that it will work on everyone?

Paddy O

June 15th, 2011
6:49 pm

kammy – you do seem very vulnerable to everyones imperatives – you even parrot them (showing you read the post) without being asked – very nice of you!

Paddy O

June 15th, 2011
6:54 pm

Mary E – you hope the US becomes what? Africa? Haiti? Ghana? Portugal? The citizens of the US have always been fairly generous. Even before MLK, explain how Nat King Cole was loved? How Jesse Owens got on the Olympic team? Exactly why separate but equal was bad for skin color, but fine for gender? The biggest problem is the loss of buying power of the US dollar – which Obama has exacerbated tremendously, and with his Ostrich leadership style, fails to address. Conservative believe in freedom and repercussions from decision made as a result of that liberty. Liberals want safety nets – expensive safety nets that never get the person into prosperity. How do you explain the horrible living conditions in the Atlanta Public Housing complexes?

Paddy O

June 15th, 2011
6:55 pm

it looks like the reason kammy protests imperative is he is too weak brained to resist their instructions. Been a liberal too long, poor fella.

Paddy O

June 15th, 2011
6:59 pm

promote a more equitable society = socialism. This is NOT the job of government. And, what are the odds that government can guarantee equitable outcome? It was tried in the Soviet Union, still trembling in Cuba & China. How much will this cost to elevate those who are too inept to do for themselves? Or, will we simply lower everyone to an acceptable mediocre level? This is the democratic parties designs and goals. Americans who love liberty and reject liberal tyranny should avoid voting democratic at all costs.

Paddy O

June 15th, 2011
7:02 pm

can only fulfill the lofty vision of its founders for its greatness when it demonstrates grace and generosity – more governmentally imposed prosperity. I was under the impression that most of our great citizens in the past excelled due to the lack of shackles imposed by the government, not BECAUSE of the governments benign oversight. Mary E has a very dangerous perception of the greatness of the country. I label her a communist.

Kamchak

June 15th, 2011
7:05 pm

Poor little paddy-poo, so vulnerable to imperatives that he has to defend their use.

Whatsamatta sport?

Afraid your points aren’t strong enough to stand alone without silly Jedi mind-tricks?

Bob

June 15th, 2011
7:38 pm

McKinnjey extrapolates a few, imaginary situations and then condemns a whole group because of her make believe scenario.
It never enters her piled high and deep mind that her imagination has gone on without her body.

Ah, but let a troll like Weiner show up and all of a sudden her thinking goes into reverse!

Jack

June 15th, 2011
7:38 pm

Surely there’s something better to write about than folks too lazy to get a picture ID.

kevinbgoode

June 15th, 2011
7:56 pm

I’d wager there are lots more folks who manufacture phony IDs than those who have allegedly committed voter fraud.

Republicans, in their obvious love of “freedom,” understand that power is much more important than inclusion of the population in their government. They rather hope that fewer people refrain from voting, making the creation of a tyranny appear to be without any muss or fuss.

Of course, the other party isn’t much better. They’ve rigged our election system and our entire government so tightly with political party controls that more and more people are increasingly cynical about the effectiveness of their vote. The GOP is trying to help this process along as much as possible, since the con-artist con-servative goal is not to produce an America where everyone has a say in their lives, but one in which the few overlords purchase power and wield it over others. People mistakenly believe that when conservatives say “smaller government” they don’t mean they want the governments to have less power – they just want that power vested in a smaller, more easily controlled number of people.

Now here’s your brand-new government-issues ID, people. . .now go use those voting machines that aren’t gonna mark your ballot the way you intended anyway.

Kamchak

June 15th, 2011
8:12 pm

McKinnjey[sic] extrapolates a few…

Our hostess’ name is Cynthia Tucker, a columnist with the AJC.

Cynthia McKinney is a former U.S. Congresswoman.

The stoopid — it burns! Oi!

Keep Up the Good Fight!

June 15th, 2011
8:29 pm

folks too lazy to get a picture ID

Someone is not paying attention…. Paddy thinks only one race cant get photo IDs, another thinks its the lazy…and yet college photo IDs are excluded by one proposal, those with disabilities may not have ID and a whole host of others.

I know its too much to ask, but knee jerk reactions usually demonstrate ignorance of reality.

Rascal

June 15th, 2011
8:32 pm

Tucker is making a dishonest, uncivl argument. She knows full well that republicans are not “against” the right to vote but Tucker can’t stand to miss the opportunity to be over the top. Tucker reminds me of Wasserman-Schultz who can never pass by a statement, no matter how extreme or wrong.
I thought Galloway had replaced Tucker anyway.

Kamchak

June 15th, 2011
8:50 pm

She knows full well that…

And how, exactly, did you divine what it was that Ms. Tucker was thinking?

Crystal ball?
Tarot cards?
Ouija board?
Tea leaves?

I dont

June 15th, 2011
8:52 pm

I don’t recall seeing anywhere in the constitution where you have the RIGHT to vote. Maybe Cynthia needs to re-read her copy.

kayaker 71

June 15th, 2011
9:18 pm

Kamchak,

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.

Mike

June 15th, 2011
9:58 pm

Well, well, well…we should just let anybody show up at Poll A and vote and then ride over (on the Democrats van) to another poll and vote again…and again…and again…Democrats will do ANYTHING to win an election and they don’t care what the Constitution says whatsoever…It is patently unconstitutional to require citizens to purchase ANYTHING and yet Democrats don’t care…You have to be totally without any intelligence whatsoever to vote democrats for any position…CT you have added absolutely NOTHING to the political discourse and the Atalanta paper should fire whoever hired you to write your drivel…

Kamchak

June 15th, 2011
10:22 pm

…Democrats will do ANYTHING to win an election and they don’t care what the Constitution says whatsoever…

Not intended to be a factual statement.

KimikoCat

June 15th, 2011
10:54 pm

My grandparents were from rural MS my Mamaw never drove a car or paid a bill in the mail. BUT!! She had a SS card. Its about being resposible and a citzen.

And under the laws being passed in red states, “Mamaw” couldn’t have voted even if the precinct workers had known her all their lives. A Social Security card isn’t a picture ID, dimwit.

Dr. Pangloss

June 15th, 2011
11:04 pm

And then there’s the outrageous gerrymandering by the GOP-controlled legislatures in Texas and Florida.

Emmanuel Hall

June 15th, 2011
11:06 pm

No, the Republicans don’t give a damn about the constituion or the American people. They prove that by their votes aganist any and every bill that would benefit the middle-class or the poor. And this effort by the Republicans to hinder likely Democrat voters is the only the way the righ wing can win a national election. Where will their votes come from? Not from young Whites, Asians, Native Americans, Blacks, the sane and if you exclude those right wing Latinos in Miami and a few other places, everyone between hell and heaven know the Republicans will not get the Latino vote.

The Republicans have a job to do for their paymasters, big business and they intend to do it at any cost.

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 15th, 2011
11:10 pm

GOP’s hostility toward the right to vote
12:29 pm June 15, 2011, by ctucker
————————

It just doesn’t get more retarded than that.

CT must be frantic over her Idiot Messiah’s tanking economy.

Acer706

June 15th, 2011
11:13 pm

1st: There is not a “Right to Vote.” There are only amendments to prohibit discrimination.

2nd: If you appreciate your privilege to vote, then getting an ID should not be an issue.

Gerrymandering is the root of all corruption in elections, and should be regulated so that votes actually count.

ODDOWL

June 16th, 2011
12:05 am

The Republicans believe in the Constitution all right…. The Confederate Constitution which allow only the Slave holders (corporate bosses) to vote.

independent

June 16th, 2011
12:58 am

A national I.D. and a picture/ state-sponsored I.D. are two different things. Voting is a privilege that only citizens aged 18 and older possess. By showing I.D., it proves that one is a citizen and is of age to vote. Just because one goes to college in the US does not mean that they are a citizen, which is why school-issued I.D.s would not work. Many democrats acknowledge the fact that their voter-base includes illegal aliens, therefore why would they want to make it so that IDs have to be shown? Many of their voters would not be allowed to vote. Also, who says that only Republicans use absentee ballots? I am sure that many Democrats use them too, at least the ones who are busy at work and do not have time to vote. Just because many pro-business people are conservative does not mean that they are bad people. Go ahead, continue to scorn business people and see where that gets the United States. And people say the economy is bad now. Also, I do not believe people realize that just because one votes for a GOP candidate, they are not bible-thumping conservatives. Maybe, just maybe, they want a chance of this country’s economy NOT getting crushed by overregulation.

guy

June 16th, 2011
6:30 am

Ct,Go to an anger management school or get over the color of your skin!

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 16th, 2011
6:32 am

Somehow these losers managed to register to vote but they’re unable to register for an ID card?

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 16th, 2011
6:56 am

“But, contrary to the propaganda you’ve heard, not a single vote was affected by those illegitimate practices.”
————————–

And contrary to the propoganda you’ve heard, not a single legitimate vote has been affected by voter ID laws.

Vinny

June 16th, 2011
6:56 am

Another totally irrelevant column from an irrelevant liberal

willydoit?

June 16th, 2011
7:34 am

No ID…No cigarettes
No ID…No alcohol
No ID…No airline ticket
No Id…NO VOTE!!
The big government that CT so loves requires an ID for everything we do in this country…so why the problem with ID’s for voting, huh??

RLJ

June 16th, 2011
7:49 am

Keep Up the Good Fight!–cost of implementation study is not the same as is anyone negatively affected by this law? Can you show me those figures? And I’m not a blogger–just a commenter.

Kamchak–I try to ignore you for the most part, but honestly, all the name calling and mocking adds nothing to the discussion. Can you coherently state an argument and back it up? You’re giving liberals a bad name, or at least, confirming what many of us already think of them.

BBG

June 16th, 2011
7:57 am

Look, you have to fight for the right to paaarrrrdy, I mean, I really understand that concept. But fighting for the right to vote? Give me a break. Besides, a single vote, yours and mine, is worthless, because the supreme court will just nullify it and put W back in the oval orafice….I mean oral office…..I mean oval office again.

The supreme court should all be tried, convicted and then imprisoned for life for what they done did to the world. W caused more worldwide calamity than the Huns, or even the Goths, who still walk amoung us looking oh.so.good.

And that’s just a natural-born fact. (that I’m in to Goth chicks, man).

carlosgvv

June 16th, 2011
8:06 am

Illegal aliens bring various skills with them when they come to America. One of them is the ability to make excellent forgeries of documents. They can turn out driver’s licenceses that would easily fool the folks at the polls who check identies. When applying for employment, they can also show very real looking SS cards. So, they really can vote and politicians have really been known to pay people to vote and pretending this is not true and hoping it will just go away does not now nor has it ever worked.

Tommy Maddox

June 16th, 2011
8:12 am

willydoit? – very good!

Counterpoint

June 16th, 2011
8:15 am

No ID…No cigarettes
No ID…No alcohol
No ID…No airline ticket
No ID…NO VOTE!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No ID…No ENTITLEMENTS needs to be added to that list! :)

tar and feathers party

June 16th, 2011
8:21 am

The democrat party has a long history of having their paid operatives vote multiple times in the names of dead people. Now Ms Tucker wants illegals to have the right to sneak into our polls to vote for democrats. Just say “NO” to Ms Tucker and her ballot box stuffing plan.

Norcross

June 16th, 2011
8:21 am

@ carlosgvv

Illegal Aliens were (are) able to produce documents that would allow them to get a mortgage and purchase a home. I have at least one (illegal) neighbor on my street that was able to do this. Gwinnett County was (is) a hotbed for this sort of activity. No doubt they are voting, especially in Gwinnett.

jconservative

June 16th, 2011
8:35 am

All’s fair in love, war and politics.

Personally I am in favor of allowing every person over 17 who is in the country on election day vote, be they citizen, non-citizen or extra-terrestrial.

tar and feathers party

June 16th, 2011
8:36 am

Norcross – I always turn the illegals in to the police. Just find some defect, such as a broken tail light, or a noisy party and call the police. When they investigate the complaint, they can also check their immigration status. Turn em all in, let the courts sort em out.

tar and feathers party

June 16th, 2011
8:39 am

Dear jconservative – You said “Personally I am in favor of allowing every person over 17 who is in the country on election day vote, be they citizen, non-citizen or extra-terrestrial”

Do you favor the same policy for the foreign country of Israel? In that case, all the Palestinians should be allowed to vote in all Israeli elections!

Hootinanny Yum Yum

June 16th, 2011
9:04 am

From AJC, “Mexico, several other countries seek to halt Georgia’s new anti-illegal immigration law”.

I find this interesting. To me, this lends credence to the states enacting laws and policies to restrict illegal immigration.

How about a detailed review of how Mexico, Central America and South America handle their immigration policies. Handle human rights. Handle the “police” powers of their governments.

This is ludicrous.

Obvious

June 16th, 2011
9:09 am

I’m sure the Liberal political machine is still schlepping those poor disenfranchised voters to the polls on election day by the van loads. They’ll just have to remember their State issued ID’s to actually cast their vote for Obama now.

Dave R.

June 16th, 2011
9:12 am

Actually, conservatives DO believe in the U.S. Constitution.

There is no right to vote guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.

Chew on THAT, Ms. Pulitzer Prize winner.