Right Wing Extremists Want to Destroy What Remains of The Voting Rights Act

Yeltin vote suppression quote

Right Wing extremists continue to claim they care about free and fair elections while advocating for and establishing “laws” that effectively restrict voting by non-Republicans.  So far they’ve passed restrictive voter ID laws, restricting or eliminating voting days and hours, moving poll stations to obscure and inaccessible locations.  A recent ruling allowing states to make registering to vote more challenging for young people and especially for naturalized citizens with restrictive ID requirements, is the latest setback for free and fair elections.

Alabama has already indicated it will follow suit and it’s a matter of time before other Republican controlled states jump on the registration suppression bandwagon.  Now they want to eliminate any form of legal recourse to their vote suppression measures by going after article 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

As it is, the Voting Rights Act is a shadow of its former self thanks to the Supreme Court ruling that gutted pre-clearance on the pretense that racist vote suppression policies no longer exist in the confederate states.  Of course, that is only true to the extent that racist vote suppression policies are no longer limited to the confederate states. As seen in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and anywhere else Republicans rule, the GOP has been suppressing the vote for some time and continues to do so with more extreme laws.

In yet another example of projection, Hans von Spakovksy and Roger Clegg of the National Review claim,

As Eric Holder’s Justice Department attacks voter-ID laws in Texas and North Carolina, the Heritage Foundation has warned courts that they should be wary of construing Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to find liability when only a “disparate impact” on the basis of race has been shown.

“Disparate impact” is the favored but dubious legal theory of the Obama administration. It’s being used to attack everything from election integrity to the financial industry when DOJ doesn’t have any evidence of intentional discrimination. This theory lets DOJ attack completely neutral laws and practices that it doesn’t like for policy, not legal, reasons.

Well, people who try to argue that corporations practice a religion with a straight face are in no position to pontificate about “dubious legal theories.”

Moreover there is ample evidence of intentional racial discrimination.  For one thing, studies have shown that voter ID laws do have a disproportionate effect on racial minorities.  Since lawmakers, or at least their staff, have access to such studies, and they still pass restrictive voter ID laws, that is also evidence of an intent to discriminate.  Other studies show that reducing the number of poll stations, reducing the hours and days on which people can vote, creates lines and discourages eligible voters from exercising their franchise.  When those actions occur, as they have, in predominantly minority populations, it shows an intent to suppress votes by minorities.

Even if one wants to argue that doesn’t show intent, what about the admissions by various law makers, or an observation by the Judge whose ruling on which vote suppressors rely that there is a deliberate intent to suppress the vote?

Most recently, Wisconsin State Senator, Dale Schultz, who is a conservative in every sense of the word, said the following:

But that fact is, it ought to be abundantly clear to everybody in this state that there is no massive voter fraud. The only thing that we do have in this state is we have long lines of people who want to vote. And it seems to me that we should be doing everything we can to make it easier, to help these people get their votes counted. And that we should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future, rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at the voting sites and trying to suppress the vote.

Last year, Judge Richard Posner made the following observation in a book he wrote about his ruling on the constitutionality of restrictive voter ID requirements.

I plead guilty to having written the majority opinion (affirmed by the Supreme Court) upholding Indiana’s requirement that prospective voters prove their identity with a photo ID—a law now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than fraud prevention.

A former low level official with North Carolina’s Republican Party, Don Yeltin, argued if North Carolina’s vote suppression law suppresses votes that hurt “a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything so be it.” during an interview by Aasif Mandvi  on The Daily Show. In fact, when Mandvi, said “The law is not racist and you’re not racist,” Yeltin interrupted him to say “I’ve been called a bigot before.”

Jim Geer, the former Republican Party of Florida chairman also admitted  that vote suppression, and especially of the black vote was his party’s idea of an election strategy and that stopping voter fraud was merely a “marketing ploy.”

Texas governor wannabe, Gregg Abbot admitted in court papers, that if minorities (and women) voted Republican, Texas wouldn’t need to suppress their votes.

In combination, these admissions show that Republican policies are intended to suppress votes generally and the votes of minorities in particular.  Moreover, everyone knows that the voter fraud claim is a bold faced lie.  Finally, in some cases, the racial animus is not only obvious, but acknowledged.  In combination, the laws and the statements add up to a deliberate intent to pass laws that discriminate against racial minorities’ right to vote.

Image: The Democratic Underground

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15 Replies to “Right Wing Extremists Want to Destroy What Remains of The Voting Rights Act”

  1. This, of course, should surprise no one. The Right has known for decades that the only way they can win elections is by disenfranchising as many people as possible (or getting the Supreme Court to throw out election results, but that probably wouldn’t work twice). If you haven’t heard of Paul Weyrich, Google him.

    There is no rational reason why we don’t have mandatory early voting periods in every state. Nor is there any logical reason to have Election Day on a Tuesday. Ultimately I believe we should adopt the Australian model, in which voting is mandatory and not voting without a good reason (like severe illness) is subject to a fine.

  2. This is a subject that is very touchy with me. I served my country so that everyone would have the right to vote, EVERYONE. The scum trying to enact these laws call them selves patriotic Americans, which is the furthest from the truth. When you have to cheat to win you really haven’t won anything. They are a dying breed, they know it, and they can’t stop it.

    I have been of the opinion for a long time that they should pay people to vote. Not much, maybe $20 for your time stapled on your ballot. It could be funded impartially so no particular party has funding influence. We have the technology to prevent fraud by a simple thumbprint scan into a database when you pick up your ballot.

  3. Actions speak louder than words.

    Voter fraud is small. This is an attempt to disenfranchise American citizens of participating in the decision-making process.

    The final stage of disenfranchisement is making sure property owners ONLY can cast ballots.

    By eliminating Americans from voting, you can elect office holders who give huge tax cuts to the wealthy, weaken unions and work place regulations, trash the very things that help the working and middle class people.

    Sad this is happening in the 21st century.

  4. I for one, am very tired of the rethugs quote. “so be it”. The next time there is a natural disaster in any southern state, and they appeal to the Gov. for help. The answer should be.. a big “SO BE IT”. In other words find a way to pay for it, and we will pass it. The same for voting rights which men and women have died for.
    I am tired of being the goat for the south. The ones they appeal too every time they, have a natural disaster problem.. taking hand outs, and demanding more….while voting to NOT help others.(like they did to the eastern shore natural disaster last year)Pay back should arrive in the form of a (“so be it”)for the next disaster in the south.

  5. They will do their best to get this down to where they will win with a large majority and claim the people have spoken. And when the people see what the republicans(1%) are doing, the republicans (1%) will make it very hard for everyone to vote. Then, you will have a dictatorship claiming it supports the constitution. Thats the gop way.

  6. As someone who lives in a hurricane state, I promise you that, in such a case, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Windermere, and Amelia Island would still suffer no lack of aid, but Little River, Homestead, DeLand, and the like, would be left to fester like the Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Only the federal government can be relied on to ensure fairness, and then only when it’s not in the hands of Republicans.

  7. I think this should be put up on billboards around the nation, I have some cash saved back and I can get a discount on board space and time so I’m going to put this up on billboards here in Lancaster, Ohio. I urge anyone and every one to do the same. Get people together and pool your money and do this.

  8. The geopigs know there will NEVER be a geopig in the white house without voter suppression. The DOJ must stop this NOW.

  9. This ole white boy will tell you, there’s more lazy white people than there are lazy black people. Back when I was an active Steelworker, I wanted to work on the crews that had black people, even had my life saved by one of my black buddies. Don Yelton sure the hell doesn’t know what he’s talking about and all he is, is a bigot.

  10. The so called bunch of lazy blacks is not the right wing extremists problem…LOSING, because of a bunch of blacks. That’s their problem.

  11. And they talk about Dem’s forcing Sharia law. I thought we were going forward in time but I guess I was wrong. Welcome to the 19th and 20th century. People like that scare me.

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