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Action Alert from NAACP Re: Voter ID Cards [View All]

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AspenRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-17-06 05:25 PM
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Action Alert from NAACP Re: Voter ID Cards
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WASHINGTON BUREAU NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE
1156 15th Street, NW Suite 915 Washington, DC 20005 P (202)463-2940 F (202)463-2953
E-MAIL:mailto:washingtonbureau@naacpnet.org WEB ADDRESS http://www.naacp.org /

ACTION ALERT

DATE: September 15, 2006

TO: Concerned Parties

FROM: Bruce Gordon, NAACP President & CEO
Hilary O. Shelton, Director, Washington Bureau

NAACP CALLS ON CONGRESS TO OPPOSE DISCRIMINATORY BILL REQUIRING ALL VOTERS TO SHOW A GOVERNMENT-APPROVED PHOTO ID BEFORE VOTING
GOVERNMENT-APPROVED PHOTO ID REQUIREMENT WOULD CAUSE RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITIES, THE ELDERLY AND OTHER GROUPS OF CITIZENS TO LOSE THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE


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THE ISSUE:
In the next few weeks, the House of Representatives may consider legislation, H.R. 4844, which would require all voters to show some form of federally-approved photo identification before being able to cast their vote by the year 2008. It would also require states to ask for documented proof of citizenship by the year 2010.

This legislation flies in the face of our right, guaranteed by the Constitution, to cast a free and unfettered ballot, as well as the recently reauthorized 1965 Voting Rights Act, which mandates that no state or municipality shall in any way infringe on our right to vote.

H.R. 4844 re-creates new obstacles in voting akin to a modern day "poll-tax" by forcing U.S citizens to pay for government approved ID that many of our most vulnerable citizens do not have or cannot easily obtain to prove their citizenship such as passports or birth certificates. The requirement that all voters present a photo ID before being able to cast a regular ballot will disproportionately disenfranchise African Americans and other racial and ethnic minority Americans, as well as, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, Americans living in rural areas, Native American voters, the homeless, and low-income people who are less likely to have or carry a photo ID. The criterion for establishing proof of citizenship may be impossible for some of our citizens to establish. Until recently, it was common in certain parts of the country for people to be born at home, without obtaining an official birth certificate. If H.R. 4844 were to become law, many of these American citizens would be completely disenfranchised.

To add insult to injury, the bill would do little or nothing to prevent actual instances of voter fraud. Nothing in the legislation addresses actual documented problems of election and voter fraud which continue to plague our electoral process and our democracy. These include the improper purges of voters, distributing false information about when and where to vote, stuffing ballot boxes, and tampering with registration forms, most of which are perpetrated by corrupt election officials, not voters. Rather, H.R. 4844 would only exacerbate the already existing problem of voter non-participation by erroneously removing or discouraging countless eligible voters, American citizens, from the process.
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