Monday, May 12, 2008

more vote suppression

Pleased that the Supreme Court upheld Indiana's voter ID law, Missouri Republicans are now preparing a proposal that would prevent non-Republicans from voting, period.

I exaggerate, somewhat. They just want to amend Missouri's constitution to let election officials require proof of citizenship from anybody who registers to vote. A bunch of other states are considering similar steps - not coincidentally, at the initiative of Republicans in each and every one of them.

But Missouri could have their amendment in place by election day this year.

All this allegedly to prevent non-citizens from voting. But the REAL reason is to cut back on the franchise - the Missouri Secretary of State estimates this could keep 240,000 people from registering to vote, lacking either passports or birth certificates. And the GOP's belief is these will be largely the poor and minorities - in other words, likely Democrat voters.

Because it is NOT like there is a wave sweeping America of fraudulent voters casting ballots. There are only a handful of cases. The REAL voter fraud of course is more like Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, which benefits the Republican Party and is done by computers and police intimidation and the like. But that's OK because well that just helps righteous Republicans to win, which is surely what Jesus would like, right?

Oh and I am SURE that Republicans will be fair and honest in requiring each and every Missouri person trying to register to vote to produce a birth certificate or passport or some other proof of citizenship, even that nice Baptist minister or the big corporate lawyer and other Republican supporters, right? They wouldn't DREAM of just requiring it of the suspicious sorts - blacks, Native Americans (you laugh - but the GOP tries to suppress their vote in states where they are a sizable bloc, like South Dakota), college students, the poor.

Of course they would. Of course they already do. They will use this amendment the way states in the South used to apply literacy tests only to black voters. It's a tool to disenfranchise their political enemies.

And there is another reason that wherever you are, and whatever the race, as long as the Republican Party continues to wear its current racist anti-democratic colors, you should vote for the Democratic candidate in any election, anywhere. The GOP does not deserve a place in a democracy - a democracy it attempts to undermine at every step.



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