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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Voter ID Suppression Laws Disenfranchise 50% Of Registered Voters In 2012; POLL TAXES!

Increasing Numbers of Registered Voters Could Lose Right to Vote because of New ID Laws

Generally speaking, election tacticians for both major parties pursue two strategies: make sure your supporters actually go to the polls on Election Day and try to persuade undecided voters to lean your way when they cast their ballots.

But this year, Republicans have aggressively added a new tactic…limiting the number of Democrats who are able to vote.

They have done this by passing state laws requiring voters to present ID, often with photos, on the assumption that voters who are too old or too poor to have photo IDs are more likely to vote Democratic.

For example, new laws requiring voters in Pennsylvania and Mississippi to show ID at polling places could result in thousands not voting in November.

State elections officials in Pennsylvania say more than three quarters of a million registered voters do not have the most common required documentation: a drivers license or ID card from the state Transportation Department.

In Philadelphia alone, more than 186,000 registered voters (18% of the city’s total registration) lack a license or state ID.

Many of these voters could be turned away in November unless they can provide the above forms of identification or a U.S. passport, student ID card, current military identification or ID cards issued to government employees.

The percentage of registered voters statewide at risk of not being allowed to vote is 9.2%, out of 8.2 million people.

The administration of Governor Tom Corbett had previously claimed that only 1% of registered voters did not have the required photo ID.

The new law was adopted by Republican lawmakers and Corbett over the objections of Democrats who argued that the restriction would disenfranchise thousands of voters, especially the poor, elderly and young.

A similar conundrum faces voters in Mississippi, where the voter ID law has a Catch-22 aspect.

Those who need to obtain an ID to qualify to vote must show a certified birth certificate, but for those who don’t have a birth certificate, they need to show an ID to get one.

Besides Pennsylvania and Mississippi, five other states have passed strict photo ID laws…Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Tennessee and Wisconsin, although Wisconsin’s law is being challenged in the courts.

Texas and South Carolina have also passed such laws, but they are being challenged by the federal government.

In Virginia, a law enacted in May requires those who show up without ID to cast a provisional ballot and then present ID within a few days for their ballots to count.

After 50 and 70 Years of Voting, Two 93-Year-Olds Sue to Keep Right to Vote without Photo ID

Viviette Applewhite, 93, of Philadelphia has become the face of a civil liberties lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania for requiring voters to show identification before voting. The new requirement was signed into law by Republican Governor Tom Corbett on March 14.

The wheelchair-bound Applewhite says she has voted since 1960, but won’t be able to do so this November because of the new legal requirement. She doesn’t possess a driver’s license and is unable to obtain a birth certificate from the state, she says, making it impossible for her to show the requisite ID at the polls.

Another 93-year-old plaintiff, Bea Bookler, first voted for Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940. She has the documents needed to obtain a valid photo ID, but state law requires that she present them in person and she is too frail to do so.

Representing Applewhite, Bookler and eight other plaintiffs are the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Color People. They contend the law will disenfranchise tens of thousands of eligible Pennsylvanians who lack ID.

A 2006 survey by the Brennan Center for Justice concluded that about 13 million adult American citizens lack the kind of proof needed to comply with voter ID laws.

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Sources: AllGov, MSNBC, Political Articles, TPM Muckracker, Uptake Video, Young Philly Politics, Youtube, Google Maps

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