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NYT: the "Grand Old Tradition of Disenfranchisement"

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:51 AM
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NYT: the "Grand Old Tradition of Disenfranchisement"

American Elections and the Grand Old Tradition of Disenfranchisement

October 8, 2006

The House of Representatives struck a major blow against democracy last month. It passed a bill that would deny the vote to anyone who shows up at the polls without a government-issued photo ID. The bills requirements are so onerous and inflexible that they could prevent millions of eligible voters without drivers licenses who are disproportionately poor, minority or elderly from casting a ballot...

The voter ID laws that have been enacted recently have been set up not to verify voters identities, but to stop certain groups from voting. Georgias law whose sponsor was quoted in a Justice Department memo as saying that if blacks in her district are not paid to vote, they dont go to the polls required people to pay for voter ID cards, until the courts held that to be an illegal poll tax. When it took effect there was not a single office in Atlanta where the cards were for sale....

Abraham Lincoln understood this. In 1859, after Massachusetts Republicans pushed through a requirement that immigrants wait two years after becoming citizens to vote, a group of German-Americans asked Lincoln what he thought of the law which mere partisanship should have led him to support. I am against its adoption in Illinois, or in any other place, where I have a right to oppose it, he responded. Understanding the spirit of our institutions to aim at the elevation of men, I am opposed to whatever tends to degrade them.

If you don't have a sign on for the NY Times, you can
"borrow" one from

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