No room to talk

Ari Berman at Rolling Stone:

As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots. “What has happened this year is the most significant setback to voting rights in this country in a century,” says Judith Browne-Dianis, who monitors barriers to voting as co-director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C.


All told, a dozen states have approved new obstacles to voting. Kansas and Alabama now require would-be voters to provide proof of citizenship before registering. Florida and Texas made it harder for groups like the League of Women Voters to register new voters. Maine repealed Election Day voter registration, which had been on the books since 1973. Five states – Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia – cut short their early voting periods. Florida and Iowa barred all ex-felons from the polls, disenfranchising thousands of previously eligible voters. And six states controlled by Republican governors and legislatures – Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin – will require voters to produce a government-issued ID before casting ballots. More than 10 percent of U.S. citizens lack such identification, and the numbers are even higher among constituencies that traditionally lean Democratic – including 18 percent of young voters and 25 percent of African-Americans.

Taken together, such measures could significantly dampen the Democratic turnout next year – perhaps enough to shift the outcome in favor of the GOP.

There was a time when I would have gotten all wee-wee’d up about this issue. But after what I saw in 2008 the Democrats have absolutely no credibility on the subjects of election fraud and disenfranchisement.

What goes around comes around.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to No room to talk

  1. DeniseVB says:

    “Citing the fact that at least 1,000 jobs and the future of American aircraft manufacturing hang in the balance with the NLRB’s lawsuit against Boeing, Haley called the president’s silence on the issue “cowardly” and “unacceptable.” Haley also cited the fact that the current White House Chief of Staff and Commerce Secretary both served on Boeing’s board at the time the South Carolina plant was approved, and demanded that he speak up and go on the record whether he agrees with the NLRB’s actions or not.”

    Good for Nikki Haley !

  2. There was a time when I would have gotten all wee-wee’d up about this issue. But after what I saw in 2008 the Democrats have absolutely no credibility on the subjects of election fraud and disenfranchisement.

    Agreed! What the hell is the problem with producing an ID? At this point I would be in favor of the Iraqi purple ink finger technique!
    So much fraud in the 08. Bussing “voters” in to caucuses. Black Panthers at the polls. Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck registered. ACORN.
    Caucuses need to go the way of heiroglyphs. I never hear any of the ptb talk about how the caucuses disenfrancise the elderly who can not get out at night in winter in the midwest. Or those who work second shift. Or those with young children who can not afford a sitter.

    Obstacles to voting? I would call the new laws obstacles to voter fraud.

  3. angienc says:

    Excuse my ignorance, but I thought you had to be a citizen of the US to vote in elections in this country? So WTF with listing requiring “proof of citizenship” to register as if it’s something bad/wrong/new? I can guaran-fucking-tee you that France, Germany, Mexico, etc aren’t going to allow me to vote in their elections.

    Also, I was honestly under the impression that felons lost the right to vote as a consequence of the fact that they are, you know, FELONS. Is that not right? (PS — ex-felons, my ass. Once convicted on a felony count, you are always a “felon”).

    The other examples? ITA — I’m not getting wee-wee’d up about it like I might have prior to what I saw during the 2008 Dem. primary.

    • djmm says:

      The law on whether felons who have served their time can vote depends on state law. In most states, once they have served their time, they can vote.


  4. elliesmom says:

    Don’t you need proof of citizenship to get a job? One id from column A and one from column B? And a social security card to collect social security? Identification to use food stamps? In this day and age requiring a person to get identification if they don’t already have it is doing them a favor.

    • WMCB says:

      I agree. We no longer live in a society where “having an i.d.” is some kind of weird luxury reserved to landowners and the well off and white people.

      No one is yelling that receiving Food Stamps, or SS, or using your medical insurance, or applying for a job, are all things that discriminate against the poor and black and hispanic because of a requirement to prove who you are.

      If voter i.d. is “discriminatory”, then i.d. for all of the above is equally discriminatory. Where’s the outrage at how unfair it is that I produce identification to draw unemployment??!!! How dare the govt do that! Why, Joe or Jane should just be able to walk in off the street, sign their name (which we will take their word for), and receive their benefits!! If not? RACISTS!!!! WHY DO YOU HATE THE POOR???

    • ralphb says:

      Just try cashing a check without an ID 😉

  5. yttik says:

    “…including 18 percent of young voters…”

    18% of young voters lack ID? How do they drink or go to a club? Buy cigarettes? Get financial aid? Rent an apartment? Drive a car? Fly in an airplane? Get a job? Get a tattoo, a piercing, go to a concert? Have a bank account?

    I guess some of it depends on where you live, but here in liberal utopia we are one of the most repressive, ID wielding, fascist states in the nation. It’s actually illegal to leave your house without ID. My kids get carded just trying to buy a mocha. Cops ask for your ID on the street.

  6. We require proof here in PA to register kids in school. Please produce a social security card and birth certificate. And by all means have the parent(s) provide proof of residency as well.
    Every time I go to the doctors now I have to produce ID. To fill out my paperwork for SS Disability I had to provide ID. To get my original driver’s license way back when- I had to bring my certified birth certificate. Open a bank account- id.
    This whole thing is crazy. Why would we not want to “suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008.” Though I would insert “fraudulent” before elements in that sentence.
    I volunteered at the polls in the 08 GE. In the very small precinct I worked we had HUNDREDS of “voters” come through with envelopes- on the back of which were written “Obama.” Of those hundreds – better than 50% required assistance to cast their ballots. They had no clue how to operate the machines and in quite a few instances were unable to read the instructions on the screen. Challenges abounded that day. Quite a few “provisional” ballots cast.
    Yes, even in our little burg ACORN had sent in operatives to work the streets.

    • WMCB says:

      Wonder if those empty envelopes initially contained a little walking around money…..

      I mean, if you were just going to give someone a “helpful” spelling of his name note, why write it on an envelope rather than a piece of paper?

      • votermom says:

        Walking around money is the foundation of democracy, goshdurnit!

      • Exactly what i have wondered these past few years. Why an envelope? Business letter size. No postage or recipient or return address info on the front. Nothing but “Obama” printed on them.

        After all the horror stories of registering the same voter over and over again- to get their sheets filled out to claim their reward- whatever THAT might have been- nothing surprises me.

        ANYTHING that ensures ONLY American citizens with voting rights vote once and once only- in their own damn precinct- is a good thing as far as I am concerned.
        All this early voting- let’s just make it easy for them to vote in multiple precincts- counties- hell multiple states! Talk about an invite to fraud!
        Same with mail in voting- I can just see them now- walking along behind the postal delivery person rifling the boxes for the ballots. Again- a recipe for easy fraud.
        Get to the damn voting place- on voting day!

    • DeniseVB says:

      To go on a cruise last spring I had to bring a photo i.d. and *original* birth certificate (my passport expired). I had to show them getting on and OFF the ship.

      Our polls require photo i.d. to vote, to protect against voter fraud and to make sure you’re voting in the right precinct.

      Instead of my signature, I put “ask for i.d.” on my credit card.

      I’ve had to show a military i.d. on base since I was 10, even to go to the movies, use a beach or pool. Since 9-11, just to get on a base.

      Having a photo i.d. protects ME too 😀

  7. Karma says:

    As usual, Obama is trying to pick several fights on this front to get people wee’d wee’d up.

    President Obama’s re-election campaign has appropriated for its voter-registration operation the name of an existing group, Project Vote, that has been the target of voter-fraud complaints tied to the much-criticized and now-defunct activist group ACORN.

    “It’s astonishing,” said Thomas Fitton, president of the public-interest group Judicial Watch. “Project Vote has a terrible reputation for people who care about voter fraud, but the campaign doesn’t care.”

    Apparently the name is still in use but since it used to be on his thin resume. He wants it there again.

    A spokesman for the campaign did not respond to a request for comment about the trademark issue.

    The group’s name evokes Mr. Obama’s past as a community organizer.

    In 1992, Mr. Obama served as director of Project Vote in Chicago, helping to register thousands of voters on the city’s South Side. In 1995, he was on a team of lawyers representing ACORN in a lawsuit.

    Project Vote’s mission has involved registering and encouraging low-income and minority voters. In 2008, the group paired with ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) on a registration drive in 21 battleground states that Mr. Obama needed to win the White House.

    A few more gems still in the article…didn’t want to post the whole thing.

  8. Showing SOME id to vote makes sense, if common stuff is good enough: driver’s license, medicare card, etc.

    But requiring a special new id JUST for voting, and requiring a lot of hoops to get it, could be too much trouble for poor/elderly/handicapped etc (the same people who can’t get to caucuses).

    There have been abuses on both sides. Remember in 2000 there was some sort of purge of voter rolls in Florida, so that legitimate voters found out (on election day, too late to appeal) that they had been purged just because they had the same (common) last name as some felon.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      I am unaware of such a special voting id law and hoops to get it. In which state is this happening?

    • Mary says:

      What I remember is that in 2008, 4,000 dead people voted in the caucuses, FOR Barak Obama (Houston Chronicle did the research & the report for Harris County.)

      Now, how did THOSE people get to vote? Huh?

      Thank you for this post, myiq. I agree with everything you said. ID’s are a minimum requirement for keeping politicians from blatantly cheating to win. I have no issues with requiring identification to vote.

  9. djmm says:

    Great post, myiq. The Democratic Party did not seem too eager to count primary votes, especially from certain states, in the 2008 election. And in the Texas caucuses — well!

    Some of the states requiring a picture id provide for getting an such an id free, if you do not have one. I assume you would have to produce proof of citizenship to get the id, but if such ids are provided for free, I really do not see anything wrong with that.

    This may be a radical thought to some, but only United States citizens should be able to vote in US elections. (I actually think voting in general elections should be mandatory, with a “none of the above” option. If “none of the above” won, a new election would have to be held — with none of the previous candidates running.)


Comments are closed.