Thursday, July 21, 2011

The rules of democracy matter. Raw disenfrachisement of voters is appalling

I find it appalling when government officials (almost exclusively Republicans, sadly) keep citizens from voting. They do so by putting up deadlines for citizens to register with some obscure government agency days or weeks before the election. They do so by making citizens stand in line in some random neighborhood location for one time period on a weekday. And recently, about a dozen states are requiring citizens to carry around and show photo identification in order to vote.

As if someone is any less of a citizen if they don't have an up-to-date drivers license.

(And in Texas, student IDs explicitly do not count.)

I have a bit of a hobby pushing for more inclusive voter registration laws in Illinois, and I am usually appalled when good-natured and intelligent legislators (again, almost always Republican) turn somewhat savagely against every effort to repeal government roadblocks to citizens exercising their right to vote.

That's why I really like this Colbert Report segment on voter ID laws passed in the last two years. He is clearly angry about them. And so am I. This is inspiring me to work to improve Illinois' laws even more in 2012 and expand the grace period even closer to election day.

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