Voting Rights

Issue Roundup: Fighting Back Against Voter Suppression

Democrats are committed to ensuring that every eligible voter has access to the ballot and remain vigilant when it comes to efforts by Republican lawmakers in several states to impose new barriers to voting. Here’s a helpful roundup of some recent articles on cases of voter suppression around the country:

New York Times: The Strange Career of Voter Suppression, 2/12/12 – “Acknowledging the realities of our history should lead all of us to be profoundly skeptical of laws that burden, or impede, the exercise of what Lyndon B. Johnson called ‘the basic right, without which all others are meaningless.’ More is at stake here than the outcome of the 2012 election. Even a cursory survey of world events over the last 20 — or 100 — years makes plain that democracies are fragile, that democratic institutions can be undermined from within. Ours are no exception.”

Huffington Post:  Why Is It Harder to Vote Than Fly? 2/1/12 – “Republican-led photo voter ID laws enacted in fourteen states now make it harder to vote than to get through security screening at airports. …The Brennan Center estimates that 18 percent of all seniors and 25 percent of African-Americans don't have picture IDs. Estimates are that it could cost up to $35 to obtain the necessary documents when not in the possession of the voter, plus time off from work to obtain during working hours. And with many people struggling due to the economy, where many sometimes don't have enough money to buy food and put and keep a roof over their head, it's unlikely they will have an extra money to pay to vote.”

 POLITICOMartin Luther King Jr. Cited by Eric Holder on Voting Issues, 1/16/12 – “Citing the ‘drumbeat of concern’ [Holder] has encountered from Americans across the country about discrimination in the election systems, the attorney general vowed that the Justice Department was more committed than ever before to enforcing the Voting Rights Act.”

New York Times: Voting in Plain Sight, 1/12/12 – ““The Obama administration recognizes it for what it is: a cynical effort to insure that fewer young people and members of minority groups (read, likely Democratic voters) are able to cast a ballot.  ...This is such a busy election season, both at the polls and in court, that it will be easy to lose sight of the photo ID issue, a problematic solution to a non-problem.”

Expect Dems to keep drawing attention to this issue throughout the year.