WaPo: How States are Rigging 2012 Election to Disenfranchise Young, Black and Latino Voters

EJ Dionne at the Washington Post used his latest column for some real talk on the 2012 election: Republican states are using the myth of so-called "voter fraud" to enact laws that disenfranchise young, Black and/or Latino voters -- key blocks that helped bring Obama to the presidency in 2008. 

Again, think of what this would look like to a dispassionate observer. A party wins an election, as the GOP did in 2010. Then it changes the election laws in ways that benefit itself. In a democracy, the electorate is supposed to pick the politicians. With these laws, politicians are shaping their electorates.

Paradoxically, the rank partisanship of these measures is discouraging the media from reporting plainly on what’s going on. Voter suppression so clearly benefits the Republicans that the media typically report this through a partisan lens, knowing that accounts making clear whom these laws disenfranchise would be labeled as biased by the right. But the media should not fear telling the truth or standing up for the rights of the poor or the young.

The laws in question include requiring voter identification cards at the polls, limiting the time of early voting, ending same-day registration and making it difficult for groups to register new voters. 

Thank you for saying so, EJ Dionne. He then points out that the laws are so extreme and egregious that they sound like a spoof skit on Stephen Colbert, noting that in Texas voters can use their handgun license for identification, but not their student ID -- effectively punishing those voters with enough chutzpah to attend college. It's a return to Jim Crow, and it's despicable. Read the whole piece here. 

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at June 20, 2011, 3:32am

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