Wednesday, May 07, 2008



All through history, the political left has agitated to expand the franchise. The left worked and fought to abolish the rules that only allowed white Christian male property holders the right to vote. The political right fought to prevent poor people from voting, to prevent Jews, Blacks, women, young people... And a few weeks ago the rightist Supreme Court gave the thumbs up to a Republican scheme to limit voting in Indiana. We saw the first results of that ruling today.
About 12 Indiana nuns were turned away Tuesday from a polling place by a fellow bride of Christ because they didn't have state or federal identification bearing a photograph.

Sister Julie McGuire said she was forced to turn away her fellow sisters at Saint Mary's Convent in South Bend, across the street from the University of Notre Dame, because they had been told earlier that they would need such an ID to vote.

The nuns, all in their 80s or 90s, didn't get one but came to the precinct anyway.

"One came down this morning, and she was 98, and she said, 'I don't want to go do that,'" Sister McGuire said. Some showed up with outdated passports. None of them drives.

They weren't given provisional ballots because it would be impossible to get them to a motor vehicle branch and back in the 10-day time frame allotted by the law, Sister McGuire said. "You have to remember that some of these ladies don't walk well. They're in wheelchairs or on walkers or electric carts."

Tonight I got a notice from Andrew Rice alerting me that the Oklahoma Senate had prevented the Republicans from doing the same thing in his state. All of the GOP senators voted to restrict voting rights and all the Democrats voted to prevent them from shrinking the franchise.
The vote was 24-23 for the bill, but it takes 25 votes to pass a bill in the 48-member Senate. All 24 Republicans supported the plan, while 23 Democrats voted against it.

Democrats said the proposal was meant to help Republicans and would deter the elderly and other citizens from voting because they may not have identification readily available.

Ford said the bill is needed to guard against voter fraud.
Voter fraud is something the GOP gets hysterical about, like welfare fraud. And like welfare fraud the GOP turns reality on its head. They will wreck hundreds of thousands of families' lives because a few dozens people or even a few hundred people may have committed fraud to the tune of some thousands of dollars-- while corporate welfare goes out to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. I can't say that there has never been any voter fraud. But I can say the kind of voter fraud the Republicans talk about it nearly nonexistent or, at worst, extremely rare. Republican voter fraud, electronic voter fraud, voter suppression... now we're talking about hundreds of thousands of voters.

In Oklahoma, one of Andrew Rice's colleagues, Jim Wilson, pointed out that Republicans had failed to document fraud the bill sought to eliminate. Instead it would disenfranchise senior citizens and minority voters and a way to divert attention away from real issues such as improving health care.

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At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And just think - the Indiana law may be pretty "user friendly" compared to the laws coming down the pike for the next election cycles. Who knows how much of a burden on voters will finally raise the eyebrows of Justices Stevens and Kennedy. Or of Justice Stevens' replacement.

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said in the post:
"They will wreck hundreds of thousands of families' lives because a few dozens people or even a few hundred people may have committed fraud to the tune of some thousands of dollars"

The GOP is far more anti-American than that. You are thinking cynically enough.

Indiana passed the voter disenfranchisment law fully knowing that NO voter fraud had ever been found to exist in the state.

The SOLE purpose of all photo-ID voter laws is to prevent legitimate voters from being able to vote. There is NO other plausible reason. And we saw exactly that result in Indiana last Tuesday, where one nun had to turn away sisters from her own convent, even though there idenities were obviously provable by all laws except the new one.

The GOP leadership has proven itself to be evil in a pure form (Bush gets re-elected for starting two wars of naked aggression and torturing the innocent - the very thing we hung Nazi's for), and yet they continue to fool registered Republicans into supporting them.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Ralph Bentley said...

"Republican voter fraud, electronic voter fraud, voter suppression... "
It would be better to properly name this. It's called election rigging. And republicans excell at it. Voter fraud implies the person voting is commiting the misrepresentation/crime. What we have in the US today is election rigging, being conducted at the highest levels of the republican administration. Probably most of the republican members of congress, Senate, owe their seats to this type of criminal activity. Look how many "retired" in the last year or so. The curtain is going to come down on these preple eventually.


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