Rob the vote

Here we go again.

In February, state Republicans offered a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist by requiring photo identification at the voting booth, claiming it was necessary to stop voter fraud, which isn’t happening. Governor Rendell did the right thing by promptly squashing that noxious legislation.

Yesterday the House of Representatives passed legislation to require proof of citizenship at the polls. Now, think about that. Before you get to the polls, you have to register. And in order to register, what do you need? Say it together- citizenship.

Because this bill requires proof of citizenship, not just identification, a driver’s license would not do the trick since documented immigrants and, in some states, undocumented immigrants can get driver’s licenses. So you’ll need to take your passport, which only 27% of Americans have (and I’m in the 73% who do not have a passport), or your birth certificate to vote.

Not surprisingly, this legislation, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, would have the greatest impact on the elderly, the poor, and minorities, much like the state legislation earlier this year. Even less surprising, the bill passed on a party line vote with the Rs in favor and the Ds against.

Oh, and while we’re ticking off all of the predictables in this, supporters managed to tie in illegal immigration to their cause.

“Those who are in this country illegally want the same rights as United States citizens without obeying the laws of our land,” Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, a Florida Republican, said during the House debate. “We should not let these criminals defraud our election system by allowing them to vote.”

Come on, Congresswoman. That’s the best you can do? Couldn’t you find a way to tie in terrorists from France who are in same-sex relationships? The list of scapegoats is much too long to just stop at illegal immigrants.

Reuters reporter Donna Smith failed miserably in not questioning Rep. Brown-Waite on where she has the evidence that undocumented immigrants- or documented immigrants, for that matter- are trying to fraudulently vote.

America has a proud tradition of opening up the franchise to new groups, notably women and blacks, who were once denied it. It is disgraceful that, for partisan political reasons, some people are trying to reverse the tide, and standing in the way of people who have every right to vote.

NY Times editorial (subscription required): Keep away the vote

Thankfully, this has little chance of passing the Senate.

Andy in H-burg

4 thoughts on “Rob the vote

  1. Wow. You have to love how some Republicans have mastered the right way to present non-options to people! Let’s tell people we have to stop a problem, but fail to mention there’s no problem to stop. “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

    It seems like at least once a week there’s some legislation being proposed at a federal, state, or local level to give an advantage to the Republicans in the election. I don’t know whether to be frustrated that they keep at it, or glad that they feel they have to resort to these things to get re-elected.

  2. What’s surprising is that the supposedly free press doesn’t nail those bastards to the wall.

    The only place you’re likely to find news about this is the Daily Show – not in the newspapers or in the TV news.

    Cheers, Neil.

  3. Slightly off-topic, for which I apologize. But it’s the passport thing that got me wondering…

    Is anyone willing to create a new post/discussion on biometric passports and privacy issues (specifically the biometric aspect and the potential risks of RFID, but also the Fed’s insistence that other countries all over the world comply with the standard). Does the ACLU, PA charter or national, have an opinion or something on this?

    This is just a curiosity thing. If there is already a post on this, can someone kindly provide a link. This is an issue I care very deeply about.

  4. Bidge, there are a few places you can check out. First, you’ll find some info on this at national’s website, Click on “Privacy & Technology.” In the news releases on the P&T Project page, there is a release about this issue in California.

    Also, this plays a role in the debate over the REAL ID Act, which requires a chip of some sort (RFIDs?) in our drivers’ licenses. More info on REAL ID is available at


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