Thursday, November 17, 2005

gop to blacks: we don't want your vote, and we don't want you to vote

Seems that despite a strong recommendation from a panel of experts in the Civil Rights Division at Justice, the de facto Administration told the fine state of Georgia that it had no problem with its controversial voter ID program. The program would limit the types of identification deemed valid to vote and require people without one of those IDs to pay $20 for a voter ID -- valid 5 years and only obtainable in about 1/3 of Georgia's counties. The Civil Rights Division experts found this would disproportionately hurt blacks.

Surprise! There's a reason Georgia and eight other states still have to get approval for changes that could effect minority voters -- it's because of their history of doing what they can to limit minority (mostly black) participation. You remember, poll taxes, absurd "literacy tests" that were extremely difficult, and somehow were only ever applied to blacks. For more recent examples that the Justice Department hasn't addressed, you can add police checkpoints near polling stations in majority black areas of Florida (2000, 2004), states denying felons the right to ever vote again (Texas, Florida) and using extremely broad interpretations of felons' names to block non-felon voters from voting (Florida 2000, 2004), states providing inadequate polling machines (and sometimes, very outdated ones) in areas that are largely poor and minority (Florida, Ohio 2004)...

Currently, the Georgia ID program has been blocked by a judge as being unconstitutional. But it is one more example of the GOP's clear message: Blacks, if we can't win your vote (and the GOP can't because of its policies), we don't WANT you to vote.

America, 2005.