Matt Ball forwards this MSNBC report on the tactics Republicans are using to keep people from voting. “If you can’t win, cheat,” he says. “And look at the last bullet point!”
National Republicans have been talking a good game lately about reaching out to minorities, but the GOP is pursuing a very different strategy on the state level. Republicans around the country are pushing a fresh wave of voting restrictions that figure to keep blacks, Hispanics and other Democratic leaning groups from the polls–and North Carolina just became ground zero for that effort.
In the last week, Republican lawmakers in the Tar Heel State have introduced a huge raft of new measures that make voting more difficult. If they go into effect—and because the state is controlled entirely by the GOP, they’re likely to—here’s what would happen:
- A government-issued photo ID would be required to vote.
- A full week of the state’s early voting period would be eliminated.
- Same-day voter registration during the early voting period would also be scrapped.
- All Sunday voting would likewise be banned.
- Poll watchers looking for voter fraud (like those trained by the Tea Party group True the Vote) would be able to move around more freely inside polling places, making it easier for harassment and intimidation of voters and poll workers to occur.
- Felons would have to wait five years before getting their right to vote restored. The move also would have to be approved unanimously by their county board of elections.
- Voters deemed “mentally incompetent” would be barred from voting.
- Parents would lose a tax credit worth $2500 if their child registers to vote at a different address. The effect would be to force college students—who, like minorities, tend to vote Democratic—to return to their parents’ towns to vote, or cost their families money.
Of course, North Carolina is not alone. Just since the start of the year, at least 75 restrictive voting bills have been introduced across the country, according to a Brennan Center analysis. But the state’s effort may be the most extensive and far-reaching. . . .
I know many find partisanship distasteful. And outrage by now may just be boring, there’s been so much of it. But when a majority of Americans — including Americans in Florida, counted fairly — elect Al Gore but get George Bush and the $2 trillion war in Iraq . . . when his reelection hinged on a victory in Ohio that itself hinged on voter suppression (watch!!!) . . . when 92% of Americans want sensible gun safety measures but that may not be enough for Congress to enact them . . . when it proves impossible to pass the American Jobs Act that would have put more than a million people back to work . . . when “the people” are thwarted at every turn, as with tooth-and-nail opposition to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and so much else . . . why shouldn’t we be outraged? The Occupy movement AND the Tea Party have exactly the right sentiment — outrage! It’s just that the Occupy folks, for the most part, understand what’s going on, while the Tea Party folks, for the most part, have been manipulated by the Koch brothers-Limbaugh-Fox News-Sarah Palin crowd into largely misdirecting their outrage.
Or so it seems to me.
The poor and middle class are not the enemy — and neither are the rich, or Exxon. But over the last few decades the balance of power and wealth — already skewed wildly in favor of the rich and powerful (obviously), has just swung just too much further their way. Some of the rich and powerful agree. They vote Democrat. Some disagree, or even feel abused that there is any estate tax (for example). They vote Republican. And now the Republicans are working overtime to suppress the vote of the least powerful, as, for example, above.
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