Voter suppression is a strategy to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing people from exercising their right to vote. Across the country, Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed multiple voter ID bills in order to further their chances of succeeding in this November’s elections. These laws make it extremely difficult for many people (11 percent of the U.S. population, in fact) to vote because they do not have the required documents, such as a driver’s license or birth certificate.
Is it acceptable to deny citizens their right to vote just because they don’t have a birth certificate, a photo driver’s license, or some other specific form of identification – especially when poll workers already authenticate identity by checking a prospective voter’s signature against the one on the voter registration card? If it’s acceptable to deny the right to vote to those who can’t produce specific documents, is it then acceptable to deny the right to people who are exempt from paying income taxes because they earn too little money or to homeless veterans?
How Does GOP Get Away With It?
One of my concerns is that both parties, Republicans and Democrats, will falsify votes (by paying groups of people to vote more than once, for example) without some sort of documentation to validate the legitimacy of each vote. The truth is, I don’t trust either major party.
Of course it is more realistic to prevent the Republicans from preventing legitimate voters from exercising their right to vote. What I don’t understand is how they can get away with it. When I vote, all I have to do is sign in. Maybe that’s one of the advantages of living in a white, middle class district. My voter registration card is not even requested.
Isn’t there a federal law stipulating the right-to-vote requirements that supersedes local jurisdiction? If not, there ought to be.
Voter ID Laws Disempower Workers
It seems to me that anyone living in the United States, obligated by its laws and subject to its policies, deserves the right to vote.
These voter ID laws have no other purpose than to further restrict the franchise, and disempower working people.
USWA L. 65 retiree
Global Romneyites are Suppressing Humanity
It isn’t voter suppression; it is the suppression of humanity as a whole. The strategy of the Romneyites, non-democratic nations, multinational corporations or those who feel they are governed to rule the world is to thoroughly discourage and prevent normal people from exercising their basic rights.
Across the globe, tyrants, MNC’s, the ultra-rich and Republican-like Romneyites control their legislatures by dictating legislative passage of voter ID bills to further their agenda of achieving total domination of all people. It is notable in the upcoming November elections that new voters laws make it extremely difficult for many to vote because they do not have the required documents.
We freedom loving Americans have always scoffed at countries that required citizen documentation; this was required by Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, or Saddam style dictatorships. It is time we let the ultra-rich and powerful know that being rich does not make them divine or wise. Neither God nor the people have selected them to rule. In a republic, we the people rule. Not we the rich people, but all of us.
I would hope that all people of the world had these rights, but they do not. We should do all in our power to ensure these rights are not taken away from any American and we should do our best to help those in other nations to acquire the same rights. These will be small steps for we are just normal folks. However, we can lend our voice to our fellow labor groups around the world. We can voice our displeasure at the ballot box by voting out those who support sending our jobs overseas so they can exploit foreign workers and pit us against them rather than seeing who the real evil-doers are. The ultra-rich and MNC’s are seeking total domination of all the people. It is not to make more money; it is to own or control all the resources, including money, food, housing, medicine, safety and freedom, which we all need to survive. Do not be complacent or your children and grandchildren will not be free or safe.
Baton Rouge, La.
Finding a Balance Between Fraud and Basic Rights
While I would never want to see the voting fraud that historically we have endured in the past, we need to take a good long look at this voter suppression issue. Money should never be a decider on who gets to vote; that is not what this country is about. Any person who has served our country should never be denied the voting privilege; they have more than earned this right.
Now, many third world countries know the value of having a voice, and a chance to be able to vote in a fair election. If it wasn’t important then President Carter would not be helping to ensure fair elections all over the world with the Carter Center’s work.
I wouldn’t want anyone who could duplicate my signature to be allowed to vote in my place. We do need some checks and balances in place. Simply to get a driver’s license or even a picture ID from the bureau, we need quite a bit of proof that we are who we say we are. I have no problem with going through this process of helping to prove who I am. I have nothing to hide, and I want to ensure there is no identity theft.
In response to the voter ID bills, we all need to be more pro-active to register voters. Just like we helped to register black voters and other minorities in the past, we need to get busy doing this again. We need to help homeless veterans get registered, as well as the poor and other targets the new legislative bills are excluding.
Should we have a booth outside the polling places helping ensure we have correctly identified someone in order to make sure they are who they say they are? I thought we did that.
Donna De Graaf – Smith
Voting Rights and the Loss of Community
In listening to the nightly news, we are fed by the mouthpiece that is Fixed (er, Fox) News, of dead people, convicted felons and illegal immigrants, voting in the last presidential election that stole the office for President Obama. We are religiously bombarded with allegations of voter misconduct-with no proof forthcoming. The only exception being the former Secretary of State for Indiana, who was convicted of felony voter fraud! Yes, the Republican elected Secretary of State of my state (a red state if there ever was one!) was convicted of a felony and stripped of his office-and he’s appealing? (Sarcasm intended).
Why have so many of our brave men and women of the military given their lives if we cannot allow everyone the freedom to vote? I would gather those brave men and women would all tell us that they gave their lives willingly to defend our rights-EVERYONE’S RIGHTS-and not just those of the privileged. My late father-in-law, a 20-year Army retiree with two tours in Korea and one in Vietnam, told me that when in combat, you don’t care about skin color or sexual preferences, you simply look out for one another.
It used to be that we could show up on Election Day and state our name to vote-our friends, whether Democratic or Republican-would greet us with a smile and ask how we were doing and allow us to cast our vote. Surely, we have not lost that much of a sense of community that we do not recognize who our neighbors are and, by extension, will not allow them to vote.
Michael S. Ayers
Rights Spelled Out in the Constitution
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged…” Says so right in the Constitution. Pretty clear.
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States…” Says so right in the Constitution. Pretty clear.
Donald J. Cosgrove
West St. Paul, Minn.
Republicans Doing Dirty Work
It is never acceptable to deny eligible voters the right to vote via this phony issue. I’ve worked the polls, and I know how easy it is to authenticate a voter’s identity. One can even use that little voter card provided by the state. This is real dirty work prompted by the same forces that fought the 8-hour day and every other improvement in the lives of working families. As for denying the vote to people who don’t make enough money to pay income taxes, or homeless veterans, they’d love to do it. These are people who are most in need of a voice. But that’s the point, isn’t it?