“[…N]o citizen shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election because of his failure to comply with any test or device in any State…”
“No person acting under color of law shall fail or refuse to permit any person to vote who is entitled to vote under any provision of this Act or is otherwise qualified to vote, or willfully fail or refuse to tabulate, count, and report such person’s vote.”
“If in a proceeding instituted by the Attorney General under any statute to enforce the guarantees of the fifteenth amendment in any State or political subdivision the court finds that a test or device has been used for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color, it shall suspend the use of tests and devices in such State or political subdivisions as the court shall determine is appropriate and for such period as it deems necessary.”
“[The GOP controlled Legislature in PA passed the] Voter ID [law], which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”
The first three quotes are from the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the greatest piece of equal rights and democracy expanding legislation passed after the 19th Amendment allowing women to vote. The last quote is from Republican Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, a blatant admission of the attempt to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of PA voters, mostly Democratic leaning. By forcing anyone who wishes to vote to get a voter I.D. (which even the GOP in court has admitted will do NOTHING to stem “voter fraud”) they are administering a poll tax that is prohibited by the 24th Amendment.
Some even think that welfare recipients should not be voting at all! http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/welfare-voters-massachusetts-11479280
Florida has famously attempted to purge hundreds of thousands of black, latino, felon, and legal immigrant voters from the roles for no other reason then that they may tend to vote democratic. I say this because no other valid reason has been giving that any court, Florida election board, or Federal Court has chosen to respect. http://articles.cnn.com/2012-06-12/politics/politics_florida-voting-lawsuit_1_florida-voter-lists-voter-rolls-rick-scott?_s=PM:POLITICS
Ohio has RESTRICTED voting on weekends and sundays immediately before the election, days that are traditionally know as times when African American churches “turn out the pews” and vote en mass in Presidential elections. No reason has been given for this restriction other than “expense”. I was not aware that democracy had to come in under budget. http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/06/early-voting-in-ohio/
The Ohio Attorney General has also personally intervened in local election board decisions that decide when and where people my vote. As a result of his “tie-breaking vote” on this politically divided boards, Democratic leaning counties will have less voting hours than counties that lean GOP. No explanation for why this (illegal under Federal law) decision has been made has been forthcoming. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/09/1118341/-Ohio-sets-up-one-early-voting-system-for-Republican-counties-another-for-Democratic-counties
Sen. Scott Walker of MA attacks the welfare service of the state sending out voter registration forms to those receiving legal and means tested welfare. He thinks it is will only benefit his opponent Elizabeth Warren. http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/08/09/scott_brown_vs_elizabeth_warren_brown_accuses_welfare_office_of_boosting_warren_s_voter_base_.html
What is going on here?
Under the red herring of “voter fraud” (instances of voting fraud are literally as rare as being killed by lightning http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/policy_brief_on_the_truth_about_voter_fraud/) the GOP in many states is attempting to make it harder to vote.
Mitt Romney is trailing in every major poll in every swing state and nationally. The only way for Obama to lose (the #1 goal of the GOP according to their own Senate Minority Leader) if the numbers stay this way is for less people having access to a ballot.
Voting in federal elections is a right enshrined by the 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments, and by the Voting Rights Acts of the 1860’s and 70’s and 1965. Voting in the USA is a right and no one can take that right from you legally. No state law requiring I.D. or any other piece of paper or permit is valid if it is in conflict with any of the Federal statutes above.
All of these laws disproportionately affect African American men, single mothers, the working poor, and the elderly. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/07/pennsylvania-voter-id-philadelphia-blacks-latinos_n_1752480.html and http://www.brennancenter.org/content/section/category/voter_id/
The right to vote should not be decided on a state by state or county by county basis, and it should not be up to the whims of the political winds. The assumption should be made that if you show up to vote, you are legally able to vote, and if they state suspects otherwise it is up to them, and not you, to prove that you are not eligible.
Contracting voting rights is not the intention or the spirit of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Let’s not start restricting access to suffrage.
If you feel that your voting rights are being abridged in your county or state please contact the Justice Department http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/
Or the American Civil Liberties Union