Posts Tagged ‘Voter ID laws’

How difficult is it, really, to get voter photo ID?

November 13, 2014

Getting photo ID for voting is damned difficult if the process is set up intentionally to make it hard for you.

pennsylvania_voter_id_rally-thumb-640xauto-6483-thumb-640xauto-6766Richard Sobel, a researcher for Harvard’s Institute for Race and Justice, looked at what some people in Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas went through as they tried to get photo ID.  He wrote a report on what he found, which was published in June.

steve-frank67FAC2A7-A14C-4F72-D3C8-71613E397404He said “free” ID cost $75 to $150 if you figure in the cost of getting birth certificates, naturalization documents and other documents, the cost of travel, and time spent traveling and waiting.   Sometimes there were legal fees as well.

Sobel noted that this is considerably more than the poll taxes that were outlawed by Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1964.  I don’t see how any requirement to pay money in order to vote can considered anything but a poll tax.

Here are some examples from his report of what would-be voters ran into.

In Pennsylvania

According to a September 13, 2012 letter to The Morning Call in Scranton, a Pennsylvania resident seeking a “free” voter ID had incurred costs of $94.61 so far, which were likely to eventually reach $133.61. The potential voter traveled 34 miles round trip to and from the PennDOT agency in Bethlehem, an estimated hour of travel time.

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Voter suppression will decide control of Senate

October 13, 2014

2008-10-12-foreclosevoteSource: Candorville

If the Republicans gain control of the U.S. Senate, it will be because of the success of Republican state governments in discouraging voting by minority groups and by young people.  They hardly bother any more to disguise the real purpose of the new voting laws.

If the Democrats retain control, it will be because of the struggles of members of minority groups and young people to overcome these barriers.  It is too bad that President Obama and the national Democratic leaders do so little to repay that loyalty.

LINKS

Republicans Are Trying to Make Sure Minorities and Young People Don’t Vote This November by Stephanie Meneimer for Mother Jones.

Voter ID laws in Kansas and Tennessee dropped 2012 turnout by over 100,000 votes by Philip Bump for the Washington Post.