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Minnesota's Poll Tax Bill.... How many states are doing this?

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KyndCulture Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-14-06 08:28 PM
Original message
Minnesota's Poll Tax Bill.... How many states are doing this?
Tomorrow, a committee of the Minnesota state House of Representatives will hold hearings on a bill that could disenfranchise thousands of Minnesotans. Known by its bill number, HF 1443, this legislation would require voters to produce expensive documents to prove their citizenship in order to register to vote and photo ID when they come to the polls on Election Day.

This legislation is unnecessary and will likely harm eligible voters. Supporters of legislation like HF 1443 claim that the bill's requirements are needed because of voter fraud, but there is simply no significant evidence that our elections' integrity is threatened by non-citizens casting fraudulent votes or people voting under false identities.

But there is plenty of evidence that these requirements would keep eligible voters from the polls. Requiring costly documentation is the equivalent of a poll tax. The limited forms of documentation that prove citizenship are expensive -- a US passport costs $85, for example, while duplicate naturalization papers cost $210. 10% of Americans have no government-issued photo ID of any kind, and they are disproportionately people of color, elderly citizens, disabled citizens, youth, and low-income citizens. Because of the cost of acquiring a government-issued photo ID, a federal court has ruled that a Georgia ID requirement is equivalent to a poll tax and has prevented it from going into effect.

Voting is right for all Americans. Please call upon your representative to stand up for this principle by opposing HF 1443!

http://action.pfaw.org/MNVotingRights

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I have a SERIOUS problem with this bill, and expressed it loudly today to my state reps. This is a poll tax.

Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections provides us with recourse against wealth becoming an issue in the ability to vote.

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/intro/intro_b.htm
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?navby=...





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windy252 Donating Member (742 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-14-06 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. I don't know exactly how many states
but I would imagine all the "red" ones are attempting it. I know Missouri is.
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KyndCulture Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-14-06 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. MN is FAR FAR from a red state and it's happening here.
This is a wake up call for voters rights.
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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-14-06 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. The Republicans are launching it as a NATIONAL campaign
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-14-06 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Expect to se many more such moves as the US becomes minority white.
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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-14-06 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. DFL says Shut It Down! Says it's a national Republican ploy
Dear DFLer,

Its time to take a stand against voter suppression in Minnesota. HF1443, introduced by Republican Representative Tom Emmer, will require picture identification before an individual can vote, effectively disenfranchising citizens across the state.

Across the nation, Republican leaders have launched a campaign to impose restrictive voter identification requirements. Currently, the laws of 22 states go beyond the Help America Vote Act requirement, by requiring that some form of documentary identification be presented at the polls by all voters. Together, Democrats must stand together and let it be known that voter suppression will never be tolerated.

We should never impose additional requirements to vote without a fair and compelling reason that actually enhances our democracy. This proposed law makes voting harder for no good reason.

We need to make sure that Minnesota shuts down this unconstitutional infringement on our voting rights now. Tomorrow, the House Committee on Civil Law and Elections will hold a hearing to discuss HF1443.

Please take the time to contact these legislators and ask them not to support HF1443, the Voter Suppression Bill. But dont stop there. Below weve listed talking points to help you compose letters to your local newspapers.

Chair: Jeff Johnson (R) 651-296-5511 rep.jeff.johnson@house.mn
V-Chair:Chris DeLaForest (R) 651-296-4231 rep.chris.delaforest@house.mn

Laura Brod (R) 651-296-4229 rep.laura.brod@house.mn
Matt Dean (R) 651-296-3018 rep.matt.dean@house.mn
Author: Tom Emmer (R) 651-296-4336 rep.tom.emmer@house.mn

Peter Nelson (R) 651-296-5377 rep.peter.nelson@house.mn
Torrey Westrom (R) 651-296-4929 rep.torrey.westrom@house.mn

Here are some thoughts to get you started on letters to the editors, to help highlight this important issue and increase public awareness:

This bill is based on the idea of combating voter fraud. But even the bills author, Representative Emmer, admits that Minnesota has no problem with voter fraud.

We have to show ID for many things, such as flying, buying alcohol, or getting into certain buildings. But flying and drinking are not rights, they are privileges.

Similar legislation was actually passed in Georgia. It was later ruled unconstitutional.
Requiring photo identification will disenfranchise 6-10 percent of the electorate.

This bill is unfair to the poor, who will have to pay a fee to obtain the ID. And if they dont own a car, they most likely do not have a photo ID already.

This bill is unfair to seniors 20 percent of nursing home residents have no photo ID. Again, if you arent a driver, you probably dont have a photo ID.

This bill is unfair to the disabled, who will have to find a means of obtaining the ID that may cause additional expense and struggle. Many of these citizens already rely on political parties to take them to the polls to vote. Now an additional trip to obtain the ID will be necessary.

This bill is unfair to young voters, many of whom do not own cars or have drivers licenses or passports. They will be forced to pay a fee before they can vote.
This bill is unfair to the homeless, who already have a difficult time participating in civic society.

Government should be working to include as many voices as possible, and encourage all eligible citizens to vote. Our democracy works best when we all participate.

A successful letter is usually around 150 words and written from the heart.

We all want clean elections. But thats not what the Republicans are up to. They want to make it harder for people to vote, and not just people generally, but lawfully registered voters who happen to be seniors, young people, living in cities, lower-income and minorities. Thats an effort at odds with our most fundamental values as Americans.

We will not allow Republicans to hide the truth about what they are really up to in their latest effort to create a wedge issue or undercut voting rights by disingenuously claiming voter ID laws are necessary for security or preventing fraud. Its up to Democrats to expose these efforts for what they are the latest attempt by Republicans to undermine voting rights for all Americans.

Thank you for standing up for the rights of all Minnesotans. Together, we can stop this before it starts.

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KyndCulture Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-14-06 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. My DFL hasn't sent this letter yet... THANK YOU KAT!
I'm gonna go kick some ass on the phone tonight.

Whatever their ploy is, it's not gonna happen here!

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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-14-06 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Me too. More fires to put out.
:nuke:
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KyndCulture Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-14-06 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
8. kick.. HEADS UP people! this happening everywhere.
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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-15-06 05:45 AM
Response to Original message
9. The DNC is on this as well
They have a National Lawyers' Council to fight this sort of legislation.
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