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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:16 PM
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Voter Suppression in Missouri - NYT Editorial

Voter Suppression in Missouri

Published: August 10, 2006
Missouri is the latest front in the Republican Partys campaign to use photo ID requirements to suppress voting. The Republican legislators who pushed through Missouris ID law earlier this year said they wanted to deter fraud, but that claim falls apart on close inspection. Missouris new ID rules and similar ones adopted last year in Indiana and Georgia are intended to deter voting by blacks, poor people and other groups that are less likely to have drivers licenses. Georgias law has been blocked by the courts, and the others should be too.

Even before Missouri passed its new law, it had tougher ID requirements than many states. Voters were required, with limited exceptions, to bring ID with them to the polls, but university ID cards, bank statements mailed to a voters address, and similar documents were acceptable. The new law requires a government-issued photo ID, which as many as 200,000 Missourians do not have.

Missourians who have drivers licenses will have little trouble voting, but many who do not will have to go to considerable trouble to get special IDs. The supporting documents needed to get these, like birth certificates, often have fees attached, so some Missourians will have to pay to keep voting. It is likely that many people will not jump all of the bureaucratic hurdles to get the special ID, and will become ineligible to vote.

Not coincidentally, groups that are more likely to vote against the Republicans who passed the ID law will be most disadvantaged. Advocates for blacks, the elderly and the disabled say that those groups are less likely than the average Missourian to have drivers licenses, and most likely to lose their right to vote. In close elections, like the bitterly contested U.S. Senate race now under way in the state, this disenfranchisement could easily make the difference in who wins.

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wildflowergardener Donating Member (863 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:54 PM
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1. Drivers license
I just got my drivers license renewal form. Now I have to take a birth certificate in to renew it. Luckily my parents have one in the safe deposit box, but otherwise I'd have no idea where to get it. What a pain. I doubt many people would go to all of that trouble in order to vote - if they weren't driving.

Meg (in Missouri)
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roseBudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-13-06 01:49 PM
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2. We are already asking the poor to participate in something that really
doesn't appear to make any difference in their lives. We are asking them to walk or take a bus, wait in line, etc. The poor already have very low rates of participation in voting. Any DUer who doesn't get how unfair it is to expect people who don't drive to have to do something to vote that all the driving voters don't have to do is an ignoramus.
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