It may sound harsh to call Republicans, or anyone for that matter, “cheaters.”
But what else can you call a political party that has dropped any pretense about suppressing the vote nationwide and made it a party policy that their presidential primary candidates will duck the tough questions in their upcoming public debates?
After Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt “47%” Romney disappeared into an electoral abyss deeper than anything imagined in Lord of the Rings, the Republican leadership said that they learned their lesson.
They were going to reach out to persons of color, to seniors, women and to the young, enlarge their political tent, and embrace those who they couldn’t attract in 2012 so that they’d pull the Republican voting lever in 2016.
Well they’re “not gonna do it.”
Instead they have mostly Southern legislatures, in 14 states, passing laws that the Justice Brennan Center says will likely suppress about 5 million votes, and that’s quite enough votes to make the difference in the 2016 presidential election.
As for the Republican presidential primaries, the Republicans don’t want the public to hear them contend with the tough questions that, they believe, cost them the last presidential election.
It wasn’t the questions that made them lose, it was the harsh answers that they gave in response.
As for suppressing the vote, impediments to voting hearken back to the poll taxes that imposed a burden to voting deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Republicans say it’s to protect against voter fraud but, when pressed, they’re hard put to show any worth these revisions.
North Carolina has won the dubious distinction of passing the worst new voting act.
The Courts will soon be looking at what they’ve wrought as their legislative intents appears clearly calculated to stifle the youth, elderly, women and minority voting – putting the lie to the southern cover story that these electoral revisions are about containing voter fraud rather than suppressing votes.
North Carolina intends to ban any paid voter registration drive. North Carolina is increasing how much you can contribute to a candidate and limiting what needs to be disclosed when you do while restricting paid efforts to register new voters.
North Carolina has now restricted early voting and same day registration – and 70% of the African-American voters in North Carolina used early and same day registration, and in greater proportions than did white voters, in the last presidential election.
The 32-page NAACP law suit states that, notwithstanding the recent Supreme Court’s decision, Shelby against Holder, relieving North Carolina of any Justice Department oversight, there remains a ban on racial discrimination in voting found in section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court therefore didn’t’ get to gut all the voter protections.
40 Counties in North Carolina were covered jurisdictions under the Voting Rights Act before Shelby, and required preclearance by Justice of any voting changes. North Carolina’s practices were the subject of objection on many occasions
Right after the Shelby decision, North Carolina felt free to pass the most restrictive and discriminatory voting act amendments, HB 589, including new voter ID provisions.
You’ll hear politicians say you have to have ID in all sorts of situations. They knew, however, that they had 318,000 citizens who could not produce the ID specifically required by this Act.
There are serious obstacles to hold the requisite ID. You have to have a government issued ID with an unexpired date, that not everyone has presently – and that they can’t easily or freely get, in part because of the documents you need to present to get the ID.
Some say you can get what you need for “free” but, if you read the act, you’d find it’s just not so. There are preconditions to free documents. And here’s one for you – even a homeless person can’t get to vote unless he’s in a shelter that certifies the homeless person has a temporary “home.”
Rosell Eaton, who is 92, an African American, who suffered under Jim Crow, who had to pass a literacy test and to recite the Constitution to vote in times past, and who went on to assist others to vote, and been an election judge, even she doesn’t have sufficient ID under the Act.
She has a driver’s license that does not match the name on her birth certificate that does not match the name on her voter registration card.
So, Rosell is suing North Carolina and she’s only one example of a voter suppressed and excluded under the new rules.
This is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.
This is not the land of cheating poseurs too cowardly to engage in a fair electoral fight.