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Comments by YACCS
Friday, March 24, 2006

Poll Tax II

Doesn't mean anything, right?

The Macon Telegraph down in Macon, Georgia takes a look at the voter id legislation that is pending in that state.

Republicans nationwide, from the national party to talk radio and weblogs, have railed against what they claim is widespread voting fraud by Democrats, taking advantage of loose voter ID requirements.

Staton was assisted in drafting his law by Erick Erickson, a self-described political junkie from Macon and blogger who contributes to as well as his own weblog,’s 2004 election page is a long series of raging posts about the Washington state governor’s 129-vote victory, which many Republicans believe was tainted by fraud.

Twelve states are currently considering legislation to ensure more precise voter identification, Storey said. Currently, 18 states require voters to present some form of ID at the polls, while most of the others rely on a signature to catch vote fraud.

Some new laws were inspired by the 2002 federal Help America Vote Act, or HAVA, which requires an ID number be recorded for first-time voters when they register. The HAVA law is intended to create uniform state databases of voters, which will allow for easier detection of fraud. It doesn’t require photo ID.

We would truly be fooling ourselves if we did not recognize the historic, negative impediments to black voting. Notwithstanding that, we should also not allow various individuals to scream racism — a ridiculous charge — over this law to have it defeated. That does not do anything to advance the conversation.

l concern. We should work to stop voter fraud in absentee balloting, early voting, at the polls, and through intimidation. Requiring voters to show photographic identification is common sense. Additionally, the law, as written, would allow any person to obtain a free photographic id card to vote.

Black politicians in the state are intent on framing the debate around what happened forty years ago. Let us talk about today and let them show why, given today’s racial climate, requiring photographic identification will intimidate black voters. Perhaps I am naive (and granted I am white and did not grow up in this country so I’m at a disadvantage on understanding the issue), but it just makes good sense to me that when anyone votes, they be required to show they are who they say they are. Voting is our most sacred right and we should safeguard it. Afterall, you have to show id to enter many government buildings, get on planes, or write checks. Isn’t voting more important than any of those?

This argument is bullshit.

There is no history of wideswpread fraud. This is disenfranchisement pure and simple. Which is the argument Cynthia Tucker makes

Voter ID law's ugliness can't be disguised


If White, a retired schoolteacher, were less educated or less persistent, she may never have acquired the documents that allow her to vote under Georgia's new law. While Gov. Sonny Perdue and his GOP colleagues recently passed a new version of the bill that they expect to pass court muster Ñ it makes the photo IDs free of charge- it doesn't make the process any simpler for many elderly Georgians. (The GOP-dominated Legislature passed a very similar voter ID law last year, but a federal judge ruled that the law likely constitutes an unconstitutional poll tax.)

That's no doubt what the backers of the bill intended to discourage voters who would likely cast ballots for Democrats. Perdue and his Republican allies insist the law is merely an effort to prevent voter fraud, but that claim is laughable. As Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Alan Judd recently pointed out in a detailed story, most allegations of voting irregularities involve absentee ballots. And the new law makes it easier to cheat using an absentee ballot.

In fact, Georgia's voter ID bill, the most restrictive in the nation, is part of a national GOP effort to shave off small percentages of Democratic voters enough to make a difference in close races. In a prescient article in The New Yorker two years ago, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin outlined a host of now-familiar episodes in which Republicans intimidated voters of color. These included eyewitness testimony that the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist harassed black and Latino voters at Arizona polls in the early 1960s, when he was a local GOP activist. Toobin also tracked the rise of a former Fulton County GOP regular named Hans A. von Spakovsky, who, in 1997, wrote a piece for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a conservative research group, calling for a campaign to purge rolls of unqualified voters. That led to the notorious purge in Florida in 2000, which mistakenly disenfranchised thousands of voters, many of them black, most of them Democrats. George W. Bush's narrow and disputed win was helped considerably by that purge.

Von Spakovsky's role in Bush's victory led him to a high-ranking post in the Justice Department's Voting Rights Section. There, he was able last year to overrule career lawyers who believed the new Georgia ID law should be not be approved. (Recently, Bush gave von Spakovsky a recess appointment to the Federal Elections Commission, where he can continue his campaign to suppress the minority vote.)

This year, the Legislature has put some lipstick and a little rouge on its pig of a voter ID law, hoping to sneak it past the courts. But the strategy behind the law remains the same: keep those from voting who don't look like us and don't think like us. That's definitely unconstitutional. And un-American, too.
Oh yeah, DOJ wanted no part of this poll tax.

Oh, and none of the ID centers were in Fulton County. No voter suppression there.

Come on, there is no evidence of on site voter fraud, this is about keeping black people from voting by making them jump through hoops. And of course the genius who devised the new poll tax writes for Redstate.

Why am I not surprised.

posted by Steve @ 12:19:00 AM

12:19:00 AM

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