by Robyn Blumner
It really is no secret that Republicans want to make it harder for people to vote. Some are even up-front about it.
In 2011, Mike Bennett, then a Republican senator from Bradenton, Fla., told his colleagues during a debate on an elections bill that voting shouldn't be easy: "The [African] people in the desert, who literally walk two and three hundred miles so they can have the opportunity to do what we do, and we want to make it more convenient?" (His Africa comments were rated a "Pants on Fire" falsehood by PolitiFact.)
Well, Bennett got his wish. In 2012, Florida voters resembled those in the Third World. In a disastrous election that caused President Barack Obama to remark that, "we have to fix that," people in Miami-Dade County waited up to seven hours to vote during a contracted early voting period prescribed by that 2011 election bill that became law. On Election Day, some voters were in line past midnight. And get this, Bennett is the newly elected supervisor of elections in Manatee County and has since defended the law.
Then there's Charlie Webster, who was Maine's
Equal frankness came from New Hampshire Republican lawmaker William O'Brien, who, as state House Speaker last year, pushed for a law to end the state's same-day voter registration and prohibit most college students from using their school addresses to vote. He was caught on tape telling a tea party group that the change was needed because young people end up "voting as a liberal." The effort failed.
Since the mid-term elections of 2010, almost every state where Republicans took political control made a concerted push to make voting harder for groups whose demographics lean Democratic such as minorities and college students. Republicans publicly claim the rules are to prevent voter fraud -- a problem that essentially does not exist for in-person voting. But Jim Greer, the disgraced and indicted former
According to the
America needs to modernize and standardize elections by passing a new "motor voter"-type law. That law passed in 1993 to expand the franchise by telling states to make voter registration available in DMV and social service offices.
Currently in the
But with Republicans committed to blocking efforts to make voting easier, the VEA is DOA. Unless Democrats regain control of the
GOP Voter Suppression Continues | Politics
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