How is it that in the year 2012 we have elected officials all over the United States devising ways to keep people from voting? There is a presidential election occurring on November 6, 2012 and Republican politicians are “bending over backwards” to suppress the vote. They have claimed that there needs to be provisions put in place to prevent voter fraud (less than 1% cases documented). This could not be further from the truth! Millions of Americans, mostly blacks and hispanics, are in jeopardy of losing their right to vote because of these last minute changes made to suppress the vote. Here are some of those restrictions:
1. The requirement of a state issued photo Identification card at a cost (in Pennsylvania, alone, that affects approximately 800,000 voters). This change should never be allowed during a Presidential election year! It takes years to correctly implement such new changes, not a few weeks before an election.
2. The reduction of early voting days (in Florida, they had 15 days of early voting in 2008, this year, it has been cut down to only 8 days) will create even bigger lines than what we saw in 2008. Our elected officials should be looking for ways to expedite the process, not create extreme “bottleneck” and regression to “days of old” when only the “privileged” got the “right” to vote.
3. Most government agencies could not produce the volume of ID cards necessary to allow all eligible voters to vote in time for the elections. A situation was created that makes it physically impossible to make the new IDs that would be necessary to allow all voters who wished to, the opportunity to vote. This is grossly unfair!
4. In some cities, Florida will have a voting sheet that will be as long as 10 pages per voter (with several referendums to decide on)! Imagine the extra long lines that will create and the discouragement and frustration it will cause to many seniors and people who cannot afford to miss hours of work (poll tax?) to wait to vote.
How could a party that seems to pride itself on protecting the US Constitution create such scenarios to disenfranchise so many Americans? This smells of extreme hypocrisy and a gross lack of patriotism.