Monday, October 31, 2011

Republicans are intentionally blocking Americans from their ballots

It is appalling and craven.

Republican state legislators are intentionally trying to keep millions of Americans from voting.

This article from the Tribune lays out how Republicans are putting up barriers to the ballot -- fewer early voting days, requirements to show photo IDs and government registration and fines for those citizens who help others get registered to vote.

During the days when respectable Americans could justify imposing a literacy test or a tax on people who wanted to vote (as many states did as recently as the 1960s), what side would you have been on? Or if you were alive, what side were you on?

Here is how President Clinton described this wave of anti-American vote-blocking:
"There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today," former President Bill Clinton told a group of college students in July.
It's time to attack back.

The government should handle all voter registration automatically -- we shouldn't make people jump through administrative hoops to register to vote -- and then fine those fantastic citizens who help others jump through the hoops.

Cities and counties should issue photo IDs to all residents and visitors to overcome the new photo ID poll tax requirements. They should require all landlords to give new tenants a voter registration form. City stickers should have a voter registration form included. Anytime a citizen moves and tells any level of government, that agency should automatically prepare a change of address form and send it to the election agency.

And most importantly, we should introduce an element of shame to the politicians who try to block citizens from making a free choice as to which politicians should run the government. Spread the word about what Republicans are doing. Attack back.