In a country that spends so much time extolling the glories of democracy, it's amazing how many elected officials go out of their way to discourage voting. States are adopting rules that make it hard, and financially perilous, for nonpartisan groups to register new voters. They have adopted new rules for maintaining voter rolls that are likely to throw off many eligible voters, and they are imposing unnecessarily tough ID requirements.And this is on top of all the gerrymandering that's already taken place at the state and local levels. If people of conscience don't take back the country in November, it may never happen. It may already be too late.
Florida recently reached a new low when it actually bullied the League of Women Voters into stopping its voter registration efforts in the state. The Legislature did this by adopting a law that seems intended to scare away anyone who wants to run a voter registration drive. Since registration drives are particularly important for bringing poor people, minority groups and less educated voters into the process, the law appears to be designed to keep such people from voting.
These three techniques — discouraging registration drives, purging eligible voters and imposing unreasonable ID requirements — keep showing up.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
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