Disenfranchisement 2010

Posted on October 21, 2010 by


This is a video from a 2008 Democracy Now! episode in which the Secretaries of the State from Missouri and California discuss the issue of needing identification in order to vote. The video is part one of two, both totaling 10 minutes each. Though the interviews and discussion are from 2008, the topics brought up in this two year old video are as relevant today as they were then. These interviews were conducted right after the Supreme Court made the decision in Indiana to require the proper form of identification.

I think its important to reccognize the real motives behind requiring identification. Through our readings and other sources, it has become clear to me that voter fraud is not a big issue; its not an issue at all, really, seeing as voter fraud happens exactly as often as Haley’s Comet sightings. It would be understandable to increase security at the polls if there was a security threat at the polls. The law was passed in Indiana with the idea that it would prevent voter fraud. My question, if no significant proof that voter fraud is happening, is why are people trying to get this law passed?

The answer seems clear to me. The people backing this type of legislation are largely Republicans. Furthermore, the people who will be most affected by laws that require physical proof of identification are people that are, for the most part, people who will vote Democrat, e.g. elderly, impoverished, etc. If these people are not allowed to vote, the Democratic Party looses voters, and the GOP has an upperhand in the elections.

The Dems know this, and have been fighting bills of this sort tooth and nail. Their argumnent is the same, that this is pushing legal Democratic voters away from the polls and is disenfranchising many of their voters. Thus far, most states have found that it is completly legal and in line with state constitutions to require photo identification, making it hard for Democrats to fight this from happening. In crude attempts to counter this from hurting their results at the polls, have done things like have outside organizations register poeple to vote, these newly registered voters are more likely to vote Democrat; the problem with this is that voter registration is very specific and it is often the case that people register to vote incorrectly.Also, Republicans have a problem, to say the least, with these outside organizations.

To close, I would like to point out the fact that the same language is being used by both parties when voicing their oppositions to the tactics used by the others. This is important to recognize because it shows the logical fallacies by both sides, and even more, shows that both sides are using the same fallacious arguments, just working toward different ends.

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