Monday, December 19, 2011

American Voters Are Under Attack

The 1% are doing their best to suppress voting rights for low income, minority, student and elderly Americans while nearly half of us are living in poverty. In the last year, Republicans in 23 states have tried to pass restrictive voting laws; many have succeeded.

The Advancement Project determined “States where restrictive laws have already passed represent 63 percent of the electoral votes needed to win the presidency.”

These restrictions include same-day registration, early voting, Sunday voting and even ex-felon voting bans. This is a direct attack on our civil rights. Other attacks in recent years include deceptive practices and voter intimidation.

 Many Eastern states, including here in New York City, use off-duty police officers for ballot security to intimidate voters in minority communities. In Philadelphia, robocalls told voters they would be arrested at the polls if they had any unpaid traffic tickets or were behind on child support payments.There were fliers in Virginia stating Democrats must vote on Wednesday and Republicans on Tuesday.

Students have been told they would not be permitted to vote; if the address doesn't match on their ID and voting registration. In Florida, 4,000 students found their party registration and address had been changed. We have 10,000+ voting systems with different types of poll machines.

Many of these atrocities go unpunished because deceptive practices are not illegal.

We need to wake up to what is happening in our country. These Restrictions are portrayed as a way to combat widespread voter fraud while even 100 years ago we knew it to be a tactic of suppressing votes.The DOJ only found 9 cases of voter fraud last year. GOP lawmaker admits they have no evidence these laws are needed, in Pennsylvania, and they're pushing the bill through anyway. You're 39 times more likely to be struck by lightening than you are to commit this kind of fraud.

The American Civil Liberties Union says "Multiple studies have found that almost all cases of in-person voter 'fraud' are the result of a voter making an honest mistake."

The Brennan Center says 21 million eligible voters do not have a current photo ID. Congressman John Lewis said "a deliberate and systematic attempt to prevent millions of elderly voters, young voters, students, [and] minority and low income voters from exercising their constitutional right to engage in the democratic process."

Voter turnout has nearly doubled in young people and minorities, in recent years, while the 2010 census reveals a 10% increase in African American and Latino eligible voters. Now in 2011, we are seeing a coordinated attack on voting rights targeting those demographics.

States that have already worked voter ID requirements into their laws:
  • Alabama
  • South Carolina
  • Kansas
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

On December 10, 2011 thousands marched in New York City to shine a light on billionaire financiers David and Charles Koch. These 'old money' brothers have financed the push for ID laws to further their own agendas. The march started at the offices of Koch Industries and ended at the United Nations.
    One protester, named Brenda Williams, said in an interview with Democracy Now "I come from the State of South Carolina. We are currently fighting the voter ID bill at the level of the Justice Department, mainly because over a quarter of a million people in our state alone will be disenfranchised based on the fact that South Carolina is demanding that all citizens have a government-issued photo identification card before the vote. "

    These laws are not designed by the people, for the people. They are designed by big business, for big business and it is our responsibility not to lay down and let it happen.


    1. Nothing wrong with ex-felons loosing their right to vote, and can someone explain how using off duty cops for voter site security in anyway intimidate minority voters? This in itself is an insult to minorities since you are suggesting that minorities are afraid of cops.

    2. You'll never know how sorry I am that you feel this way. I think anyone that lives in New York will tell you, we don't feel safe when we see military police officers with automatic weapons on every corner. We do not see these people as protectors, we see them as the aggressor. Do you have any family members that smoke pot? Would you like to see them lose the right to vote?