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Here's why Voter ID Laws are Jim Crow: Prior to 2008, there was only one state (Arizona, natch) that required the showing of ID to vote. Somehow, our nation survived. Since 2008, there are now (depending on your standards) between 23-30 states that have either enacted or are trying to enact Voter ID laws. Study after study shows that these laws have a disproportionate effect on certain, specific groups. The elderly. College students. African-Americans. Latinos. Guess which political party those groups tend to vote for? And if you think that the election of our first ever African-American president in 2008 is just a crazy coincidence regarding these laws, you're a master of self-deception. To those who think showing ID should be mandatory, why was practically no one talking about this before Obama's election? Why is this suddenly an imperative? It certainly can't be "voter fraud", which GBT correctly points out is essentially non-existent. That's why Voter ID Laws are Jimmy Crow. They are a fabricated solution in search of a problem. And they, unquestionably, target the voter base of one political party. Wake up. Maybe the next set of laws will affect your ability to vote.
If they were serious about voter fraud, they'd draft an army of 1,000,000, form a conga line from Canada to Mexico and sweep across the country, coast to coast, shoulder to shoulder, and fingerprint and issue a tamperproof ID to every person they came across.
Thank you for bringing to the attention of our country the horrendous and what should be treasonous voter suppression occurring in too many states (even one state is too many). I am appalled to see such blatant bigotry committed by government officials and news media.
I noticed that the gloves on the audience members in the July 24th Jimmy Crow strip were three-fingered Mickey Mouse gloves. I wonder what that means?
This site has been in vacation mode for a few weeks, and I appreciate your keeping the Blowback comments coming. I'll catch up on posting them shortly.
I think he is already registered in Skamania County, Washington.
I live in Atlanta. At first glance the Georgia Voter ID law seems no big deal. But now the requirements for getting a picture ID have gotten so stringent we have lines out the building. It is taking days and weeks to renew licenses or obtain a picture ID. Lifetime residents of the city have to now produce a "certified" birth certificate, not a copy from the hospital. It has to be notarized. So, while producing a picture ID to vote may appear reasonable, if you make it a test of sheer endurance and resources (driving to obtain county records, paying for certified birth certificates, certified marriage licenses, certified divorce decrees) to "prove" your identity, then many of the poor, disenfranchised, working single parents, etc are not going to be in a position to vote in this election.
I'm no bleeding heart, but ya gotta be pretty obtuse not to see the relationship between new voter ID legislation and Jim Crow. Turzai's (R-PA) boast doesn't leave much doubt about the goals. I'm happy to show my ID to vote, and I think we should move towards a system where everyone should have ID, but we should be doing it in a fair and measured way that doesn't leave our elders and less-fortunates behind. That's democracy. GBT is right on target with this one.
I always voted Republican starting with Eisenhower, but ever since I died I have been voting Democrat, because they are the only party that cares about us dead people.
My wife and I were at Sears the other day and when my wife wrote a check she had to show ID. I don't see what's wrong with showing ID when you vote.
The "free" state IDs available are often not so free. In my case the requisite birth certificate, which had to come from Alabama, not only took substantial time to obtain, but the state required that it be sent by FedEx overnite. ($!$) US Postal Service delivery was not allowed! Consider how this affects the thousands of citizens on fixed incomes, or struggling to get by hand-to-mouth.
I think that Jimmy Crow 2012 would probably not be walking the highway with a hobo stick over his shoulder. We're more likely to find him reclining in a corporate jet with a fat cigar in one hand and a glass of single-malt Scotch in the other.
Every time voter fraud has been investigated, it's been shown to be a non-problem. If Chicago still has a problem, it's systemic. Individuals voting "early and often" is the most difficult way to rig an election. Messing with the voting machine totals requires fewer people and way less effort. Voter ID is about restricting access, plain and simple. My town has a paper list of eligible voters at the polls, and when I provide my name and address, it's crossed off the list. That's good enough for me, and it should work everywhere.
In Australia voting is compulsory, regarded as one of the responsibilities of citizens, and regulated by an electoral roll on which all adults are required by law to register. There are always a number of people who fly below that radar, but actual voter fraud is virtually unknown. GBT's take on these manipulative new laws and the intent behind them is furnishing Australians like me who support compulsory voting (not that there's ever been any serious push against it) with an excellent reason to keep it that way. If voting were not compulsory and this sort of thing happened here, I think there would be a widespread grassroots campaign to ensure that everyone had easy access to some form of photo ID.
Politics have not changed in 200+ years -- the haves ready to take on the have-nots. Both sides are guilty of taking the road to Perdition. There is more than enough guilt to go around, with each side blaming the other for not "fixing" the problems. The Jim Crow series reflects what I too have seen and I am a registered Republican. Thanks for depicting what I fear is the future.
The fact is there are thousands of people that don't currently have picture ID and have no easy way to get one (read about Viviette Applewhite, or hear her story on this video). And, demographically, they tend to vote Democratic. Unless these laws are combined with efforts to provide free picture ID, they are transparent attempts at disenfranchising groups that lean Democratic. But don't ask me about it. Just ask Mike Turzai, PA House Republican leader, who said, "Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania: Done." None of this is going to matter in the long run. With Internet-based and other electronic voting machines (without paper trails), committing real and untraceable voter fraud is as simple as flipping some bits. Check out what Prof. Alex Halderman's University of Michigan research group did to the D.C. Internet voting system. Picture IDs won't do anything to prevent that.
I find it unbelievable that I don’t have to show some form of picture ID when I go to vote. I have three; take your pick. All over the country you hear of illegal aliens and dead people voting in elections. Chicago is notorious for getting the dead out to vote. This is illegal and has to stop. Having to show a picture ID before you can vote is the way to do it. The government will provide these ID cards, so what is the big deal? If you don’t have a driver’s license, get on the bus and go get a state ID card. What is so racist about that? I’m sick and tired of people playing the race card. Whether there have been documented cases of voter fraud or not, every state, every polling place should require you to show a picture ID.
If you do not have a photo ID it can be difficult to even get to the places you are required to go to in order to get one. Some must take time off from work to do this during business hours; some have no transportation to often widely-spaced facilities; some are squeezed between work and child care. If voter ID supporters were really interested in making sure all eligible voters could vote, they'd be running ID sign-up campaigns along with the new laws. But Republicans have made it pretty clear what their real intentions are.
Opposing Voter ID right now has little to do with whether it's a good idea. It's a good idea. But the hoops you have to jump through to get an ID make it a smokescreen for voter suppression. People who don't realize that are kidding themselves. Right now -- a scant few months before an election -- is a heck of a time to roll out new rules that keep longtime legal voters from participating in the next election if they can't easily come up with the types of verification that the laws stipulate. And it takes time for all these people to get those IDs, while some of them don't have much free time from their multiple low-paying jobs to go get them, even if they do have all the paperwork they need in order to "qualify."
My grandmother was born in the upstairs bedroom of the family home. She had no birth certificate, just a baptismal certificate from the parish priest. When she wanted to travel to Italy, she had to collect affidavits from a slew of people to attest to the fact that she was a natural-born citizen and entitled to a passport. One of the people who certified her was the head of the local Republican Party -- attesting to the fact that my grandmother was a citizen in good standing and that she'd been a voter for decades. How are good citizens like my grandmother supposed to navigate these arcane systems being set up? We know they're being rolled out at this late date to keep people away. Let's get real.
This week's storyline presents a terrible disservice to anyone who is interested in getting up, getting dressed, and going to the polls to cast their vote. Blowback commentary has covered the vital points already. My observation is that the Left keeps a heavy foot on the neck of the ignorant. The food that nourishes the liberal elite is to steep the masses in victimology. What fattens the elite starves the peasantry. All eligible American citizens are able to vote. The pity of it; though people died to give all citizens this right, many do not bother to do so.