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

lovelyliz

June 16th, 2011
9:17 am

Voting is a right not a p[riviledge. The only way that any legislation requiruing photo ID’s to vote could ever hope to be legal, and I’m not sure even then that it would pass constitutional muster, is for the state to provide zero-cost photo ID’s. Figure the odds of the state paying for this.o, they would rather spend out tax $$$$$$$$ chasing windmills/non-issue issues.

Obvious

June 16th, 2011
9:17 am

Excellent point Dave R.

Same reason that ex-convicts can’t vote- it’s a privledge, not a right.

Tychus Findlay

June 16th, 2011
9:20 am

Actually Liz, it IS a privilege, unless you’re prepared to show me where in the Constitution or Bill of Rights that it’s outlined as a Right, then it’s a privilege.

Just say'n

June 16th, 2011
9:22 am

If they can get a ride to the grocery store, the doctor, and the welfare office, they can get a ride to get a ID card.

Just say'n

June 16th, 2011
9:24 am

that should be “an” ID card!

Michael

June 16th, 2011
9:27 am

This problem did not exist until our State was flooded with people here illegally. This many people could easily swing an election if they could sneak in and vote. The Democratic Party knows this and that is why they challenge identification to vote. Since the Democrats want to give away everything I work for to these illegals I am in favor of identification to vote. There is plenty of time and opportunity to get legally registered to vote. Everybody knows someone who can get them to a place to get a valid ID.

A Lumpkin Resident

June 16th, 2011
9:41 am

Its amazing that actually trying to prevent voter fraud is deemed “hostility toward the right to vote”. I would think that every citizen “taking pride in their active participation in a rite of citizenship” would want a fair and legitimate election. Getting a government ID is not one bit harder than voting, so these folks should have no problem.

The only people who have a problem with requiring a FREE to obtain voter id card (DEMOCRATS) are those who seek to usurp elections through fraud, or those who hope such fraud… where it exists… succeeds in turning the election for their candidate.

A Lumpkin Resident

June 16th, 2011
9:44 am

fuglyliz, voting is a privilege. I you can find were (in the constitution) it is a right, then I will cede the point. Further, voter id is FREE in the state of Georgia. It looks like you are wrong on all counts.

Vote now for biggest idiot - CT or Kamchak

June 16th, 2011
10:02 am

One vote for CT, b/c I know how much it will tick off Kammy the CT brown noser

we're all suckers

June 16th, 2011
10:06 am

We’re all suckers for clicking on this blog when we see a new headline. You know it will be another absurd victim-based, right is wrong , left is right, semi to strongly racist rubish cranked out by a paid for left wing mouth piece. On top of that we get to see the same annoying snipes by her most loyal sychopahnts.

We’re suckers for taking CT seriously. She’s just stirring the pot, for ratings, for fun, maybe she’s crazy , I don’t know.

Now Kammy, I pay you to fix my typos, so get to it weirdo.

tar and feathers party

June 16th, 2011
10:10 am

Look at the bright side folks, Obama will be a one term President. With any luck at all, we can also impeach him for violating the War Powers Act!

Good Grief

June 16th, 2011
10:12 am

Cynthia – I would love to hear your take on this, but have these people ever bought homes? Rented apartments? Cashed a check? I have to have a photo ID for all those things. Or should we applaud these people for living off the grid? It is not hard to get a photo ID, and it is far from racist to require one. Or should we let anyone vote, and let them vote as much as they want, so long as we don’t hurt their feelings? God, this country is circling the drain…

JKL2

June 16th, 2011
10:26 am

Too lazy to get an ID, too lazy to vote. I guess they should have got a ride to the DMV with that neighbor or nephew. Of course we know they were all going to vote for Democrat too…

hobby

June 16th, 2011
10:26 am

kammy has delusions of adequacy…..it is imperative that we humor him, just for ’sport’

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 16th, 2011
10:29 am

Hobby, your logic is squirrelly

Josey

June 16th, 2011
10:35 am

Please show me in the constitution. bill of rights or any other document created at the genesis of our country, that says that everyone has the right to vote.

lovelyliz

June 16th, 2011
10:43 am

@Dave R.

Liberals believe in the Constiution and nowhere does it mention the right to bear ammunition

lovelyliz

June 16th, 2011
10:46 am

Ileggal immigrants avoid the government at all costs and that invovles voting. Just because that dark skinned man in front of you at Wal-Mart or at your local voting precinct speaks Spanish, does not mean they aren’t 100% legal US citizen

lovelyliz

June 16th, 2011
10:47 am

The “right to vote” is explicitly stated in the U.S. Constitution in the above referenced Amendments, but only in reference to the fact that the franchise cannot be denied or abridged based solely on the aforementioned qualifications. In other words, the “right to vote” is perhaps better understood, in layman’s terms, as only prohibiting certain forms of legal discrimination in establishing qualifications for suffrage. The “right to vote” may or may not be denied for other reasons.

lovelyliz

June 16th, 2011
10:50 am

19th amendment to the US Constitution: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

lovelyliz

June 16th, 2011
10:51 am

15th amendment: Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

John Edwards

June 16th, 2011
10:57 am

Cynthia is right. We need more deadbeats voting. Don’t we all want the people without the ability to even obtain an ID deciding our futures…how else would Democrats get elected?

Anthony Weiner

June 16th, 2011
11:00 am

Be advised that I have decided to resign.

Consequently…I’m looking for some ladies to sext. I’ll have lots of free time. If interested, please contact me immediately.

Kamchak

June 16th, 2011
11:08 am

…or at least, confirming what many of us already think of them.

You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that I actually care what you think.

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 16th, 2011
11:13 am

Xxxxxxxx….

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 16th, 2011
11:14 am

jconservative

June 16th, 2011
11:33 am

tar and feathers party June 16th, 2011 8:39 am

Not being an Israeli citizen I could care less about who Israel allows to vote. That is their business. I am a big supporter of staying out of someone’s else’s business.

But if someone is in the US, and buys bread and milk they are paying tax. If they buy a gallon of gas, they pay tax. If they buy a bottle of cheap vino, they pay tax. And if they are stupid enough to smoke and buy cigarettes, they really pay tax.

So I am in favor of allowing taxpayers to vote.

Paddy O

June 16th, 2011
11:54 am

ODDOWL – what President of which party issued the emancipation proclamation?

Paddy O

June 16th, 2011
11:56 am

lovelyliz – Georgia DOES provide no charge photo ID cards.

Josey

June 16th, 2011
12:00 pm

The 15th ammendment was not ratified until 1800’s and 17 1900′. not by the founding fathers as my post asked, that is 100 years after the constitution

Paddy O

June 16th, 2011
12:03 pm

kammy: i am waving my hand “you must come up with better retorts” that last one made it look like you had just pulled out of the kiddie pool, immediately after a near drowing again “you must come up with better retorts” now, get to work you weak minded worm!

Kamchak

June 16th, 2011
12:11 pm

Paddy O

June 16th, 2011
12:23 pm

lovelyliz-if the guy is speaking spanish, it is highly probably he is not a citizen – just like a guy speaking german or celtic most likely is not a citizen – now, assuming he is here illegally is a more questionable assumption.

Paddy O

June 16th, 2011
12:23 pm

kammy – tell your mom to get down!

cosby

June 16th, 2011
12:30 pm

Rediculus…All you need is an ID…has nothing to do with owning an automobile. I bet all these unfortunate people have no problem in getting to the welfare office, local watering hole, or the cell phone store. Yea CT, lets bring up a check to make sure who you say tou are to vote…how in the hell is that surpressing the vote..oh yea..you and the Dems want everyone to vote several times, even dead people..

BeeJay

June 16th, 2011
12:37 pm

Oh good grief. State-sponsored photo id’s are easy to obtain. Anyone who is able to corral family or friends to regularly carpool them to church (weekly or more often), doctors’ offices, grocery stores (once every week or two?) should have no trouble getting a ride to get an id. Moreover, I would not be surprised if one were able to get one via the internet – again, no problem with a neighbor or family member’s help. No one – absolutely NO ONE – is trying to keep eligible citizens from voting. Certain people DO try to keep dead people from voting, prisoners from voting, dogs from voting, illegals from voting, and eligible voters from voting more than once.

It makes for a good argument, if it were true, but Ms Tucker is hysterical.

Paddy O

June 16th, 2011
12:46 pm

another excellent example of a liberals notion of responsibility.

Good Grief

June 16th, 2011
1:12 pm

BeeJay – You did have an instance in one of the last two Presidential elections where more people voted in an Ohio precinct than live in the precinct. Or, at least, that’s what was initially reported. I guess trying to stop those who voted “illegally” would be seen as wrong, eh?

weirdo

June 16th, 2011
1:27 pm

I’m just wondering how many consecutive weeks, it’s got to be in the triple digits by now, will Kamchak repeat the same handfull of unfunny one liners and issue-side-stepping snipes, crafty links, typo fixing and lame arse kissing of his ‘hostess with the mostest’ CT?

WE get it, you have nothing going on in your life other than a daily 8 hour patrol o fhte CT blog. Really man, you gotta have something better to do with your time, you are oozing with patheticness

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

June 16th, 2011
1:40 pm

Liberals like CT want dead people, illegals, and Mickey Mouse to vote. The rest of us just want Americans who are living to vote. It really is just that simple. The Dems busing in voters and giving them a free meal as well is vote buying plain and simple. But, the Dems can’t win without voter fraud so that is what they do.

Shawny

June 16th, 2011
1:58 pm

U.S. Citizens can vote in U.S. elections.
Please explain how we can validate that a person is a U.S. citizen (and who they are specifically so that they do not vote multiple numbers of times or vote under the names of deceased)?
Voter ID laws are not repressive if the ID is provided free of charge.

Tech Man

June 16th, 2011
2:04 pm

Cynthia Tucker GOP’s hostility toward the right to vote
__________________________________________

Boy, talk about being on the cutting edge of today’s topics!

This is more topical than the lack of a budget, Wiener, Wiener, debt ceiling negotiations, White House not getting Congressional approval for Libyia, and on an on. Oh, Dems don’t look so good on those so CT decides to write about getting a Kroger Card.

Kamchak

June 16th, 2011
2:04 pm

I’m just wondering how many consecutive weeks…

And I’m wondering how many different sock-puppets you’re hiding behind, mystery meat.

Sack up sport, and post under one nom-de-blog.

another kamchak gerbil

June 16th, 2011
2:10 pm

You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that I actually care what you think.- kammy poo

And so kammy uses this line for the 4 millionth time. Sport just can’t come up with any new material.

BS detector

June 16th, 2011
2:14 pm

So Cynthia comes up with this tripe again. Never gets old for her. Is it really that hard for these lazy arses to get a photo id. In the last bill sponsored by the Georgia repubs on this subject they even put in a provision that if people couldn’t travel and were homebound and didn’t have a drivers license that the state would physically send some people to their residence to take a photo id of them and make a state issued ID for them. Bending over our back for these people. And yet they still protested. Unbelievable.

lovelyliz

June 16th, 2011
2:17 pm

Paddy O

I guess you’ve never been to any ethic enclaves in the ATL. I can go back to PA and find US citizens speaking German. First generation 100% legal US Citizen who grow up in hispanic neioghborhoods often speak Spanish just as out in San Francisco, there are generations of Chnese decendents who publicly speak Mandarin. You might not like it, but they are as legal as can be

JimmyZ

June 16th, 2011
3:16 pm

I think you probably meant to open with: In America’s inner cities, lots of poor black 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 on public transportaton.

Face it, that’s why this whole ID thing ticks y’all off…it makes it tougher for the sheep to vote for the chosen one.

Paddy O

June 16th, 2011
3:30 pm

lovely – what % of the population is that, and what % of geographic area does that cover here in the US? 6% and .02% respectfully? liberals can generally find some minimalist oddball fact that supports a very weak, practically irrelevent argument. I also said one could assume, which is usually riddled with error.

Paddy O

June 16th, 2011
3:50 pm

also liz, it would appear since YOU have been their, it validates your air of superiority, eh?

Kamchak

June 16th, 2011
3:54 pm

Face it, that’s why this whole ID thing ticks y’all off…it makes it tougher…

…”it makes it tougher…”

There’s your sign.

Well, at least you are an honest douchebag.