One Progressive’s View of the Conservative Mindset: The Voter ID Controversy, So Who is Zoomin’ Who?
The Voter ID controversy has set the nation on fire and probably has been discussed ad naseum. But a studied observation of mine has shown this to be an issue that clearly reveals the true nature of the movement to require photo identification of all voters. The Conservatives (GOP) say that it is necessary to maintain the integrity of the voting process against fraud. The Progressives say that there have been little to no instances of documentation of the fraud and abuse at the ballot box and that Voter ID will have the effect of disenfranchising many voters who have voted previously without incident. These voters tend to be disproportionably those that vote Democratic. The GOP state legislatures have been in a fever pitch to get these laws on the books. Is it only a coincidence that the voters adversely affected are the very ones that are more than likely to support their opponents?
So let us have a close look at the sides and the truth behind their claims.
Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania will hear a challenge to the state’s new Voter ID from the ACLU and other voting rights groups. The lead plaintiff. Viviette Applewhite, is a 93-year-old great-great grandmother who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. Applewhite worked as a hotel housekeeper and never had a driver’s license. Four years ago, her purse was stolen and she lost her Social Security card. Because she was adopted and married twice, she cannot obtain the documents needed to comply with the state’s voter ID law. After voting in every election for the past fifty years, she will lose the right to vote this November..
This elderly lady may well wield the hammer that will shatter the rightwing juggernaut in Pennsylvania and elsewhere where such laws will need to brought under closer scrutiny prior to the election, this November. This reminds me of Rosa Parks, Miss Jane Pittman and every elderly African-American that have endured years inequality and injustice, living long enough to see the laws changed in favor of the truth and reality that they have longed for just to see the villians of old rise again to center stage.
We of the Progressive persuasion were not too pleased with the statement from Pennsylvania GOP House Leader Mike Turzai last month when he said the voter ID law “is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” I can’t help to believe that he was well aware of the potential to disenfranchise certain voters that would make it possible for Romney to win when he otherwise may not. This was most telling…
Meanwhile, the State of Pennsyvania says that there have been no recorded instance of the kind of voter fraud that the picture Id was created to prevent. While the Pennsyvania Dept. of Transportation estimated that 9.2% of eligible voters, 758,000 Pennsyvanians would lack the appropriate ID. That bombshell contradicted Pennsylvania Secretary of State Carol Aichele’s oft-repeated claim that 99 percent of eligible voters possessed the requisite IDs. The Department of Transportation didn’t release the exact demographic breakdowns of who did not have IDs, but it did find that 18 percent of voters in Philadelphia, a heavily Democratic city that is 44 percent African-American, did not have valid state-issued IDs. I am sure that I am going to give credibility to a mouthpiece of a GOP controlled executive and legislature, not likely.
Moreover, obtaining the correct ID from the state isn’t as easy as one would presume. In order to obtain a valid photo ID, residents of Pennsylvania need to provide documentary proof of citizenship, a Social Security card, and proof of address. Among eligible voters who currently lack a valid ID, 27.6 percent do not have at least one of the three required underlying documents needed to obtain a valid photo ID. Overall, this represents an estimated 379,009 citizen, adult, eligible voters in Pennsylvania So, let’s recap?
Conservatives say that it is not difficult to obtain the required ID and while there is no record that there has been voter fraud there are none that can prove that it had not occurred.
I say, in direct contradiction to my conservative friends, that this is no walk in the park. To acquire the supporting documents necessary to get the proper ID can be both expensive and time consuming. Even though either side may be exaggerating as to the amount of persons that do not have the proper ID, reasonble persons would not subject so many to disenfranchisement based on “prevention of voter fraud” that even the state of Pennsyvania either cannot or will not substantiate. The GOP argument is ridiculous, I will not tolerate disenfranchising real people based merely on their hypothesis and speculation. Before such draconian measures are to be brought upon so much of the electorate, is it asking so much that you present a compelling reason supporting why the ID is necessary? What’s the hurry? The fact that all the GOP legislatures and excutives have been so concerned about ramrodding all this prior to the November 2012 election is of concern to me.
Conservatives say that those that will not take the effort to obtain the ID actually do not want to vote and that anyone should be willing to part with a little money to show himself in earnest in the desire to cast a ballot.
While the idea of Voter ID may be good in principal, I do not like the boldface political purpose and say that such requirements need months and years to be properly implemented, with the states’ residents informed and educated. The fact that the GOP has been without exception responsible for pushing this is just cause for my suspicion, automatically. Voting is not a privelege but a right of every citiizen over the age of 18, so its not like buying liquor or cigarrettes or driving a car. Any expense to the citizen associated with obtaining an ID for the sole reason of being elibible to vote constitutes a form of poll tax and as Mr. Holder, Atttorney General of the United States has said, is intolerable and unacceptable, period! I agree!
So, where is the fraud? I, as a Progressive, will insist that you prove your case or I will support the dismanling of similar legislation from coast to coast, and be the loyal soldier in a war against a group that never seems to want to conduct its activities ethically. I would call you racist but because you are not just after minorities, but the youth vote, single women, working class people, the disabled and the elderly, I cannot say this. But, I will say that the techniques reveal the depth of depravity of the Political Right and its determination to win through any manner, fair or foul. I am here to inform the world of the machinations of the “Dark Side” and the deceptive reach of its tenacles if we enlightened ones continue to remain complacent and distracted.
So, I ask again, So Who is Zoomin’ Who? I am just getting started, Part II is coming, so do not change the channel! This is the song that was the inspiration for the title of this article.
Who's Zoomin' Who? -Aretha Franklin -1985
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