Ohio Republicans Propose Poll Tax For 2016 Election

Poll tax
Shortly after Barack Obama won the Presidency in 2008, Republicans began screaming they wanted to “take their country back” and there were different opinions on exactly what era they wanted to return. If one listened to the preponderance of so-called ‘patriot’ groups sporting tricornes adorned with teabags, it seemed that colonial America was their cherished era. For the family values and evangelical fanatic crowd, the ‘Ozzie and Harriet’ era appeared to be the ‘golden age’ they lusted to return to. However, for the anti-democracy crowd funded by the Koch brothers and supported by the American Legislative Exchange Council, it was the Jim Crow era of voter suppression to reserve voting rights for white Christian landowners.

It has been apparent to any American that follows politics that Republicans just cannot stand the democratic process. Since 2008 every Republican state has attempted to enact harsh voter ID laws, used vote suppression tactics, and tried every tactic to prevent Americans from voting except enacting literacy tests and charging Americans to cast a vote. Now it appears that Ohio Republicans are on the verge of enacting an voter ID law that requires Ohio residents to pay a fee in order to cast a ballot.

Last week in the Ohio House of Representatives, 24 Republican members co-sponsored legislation requiring Ohio residents to pay a poll tax to cast a ballot. The idea of having to pay a fee to cast a ballot is patently unconstitutional according to the 24th Amendment, but these are Republicans and they have not shown any interest in adhering to, or recognizing, the validity of the U.S. Constitution since Americans elected an African American man as President.

Although the ‘fee’ to vote is not called a ‘poll tax,’ it is a requirement for voters to pay a fee to obtain a valid ID card necessary to vote in Ohio; it is certainly a poll tax regardless the ‘fee‘ for the voter card. As mentioned above, Republicans across the country have followed ALEC templates closely and enacted absurd ‘voter ID’ laws specifically to prevent minorities, students, and the elderly from exercising their right to vote. The proposed Ohio legislation ‘permits’ voters who lack Republican-approved identification to vote, but only if they pay $8.50 for an official GOP-sanctioned voter ID card issued by the state’s Republican secretary of state. There is a very special provision in the voter ID bill that exempts some prospective voters, but their income dare not “exceed one hundred per cent of the federal poverty guidelines,” or less than $11,770 a year in annual income as of 2015; every other prospective voter will pay to vote.

Ohio Republicans, like Republicans nationwide, claim that voter ID cards are crucial to stop the rampant voter fraud they assert is polluting the electoral process and preventing Republicans from winning every office in every election in every state despite the fact that voter fraud is virtually, and in most cases, literally non-existent, even in Ohio. Nationwide, the number of verifiably documented cases of voter fraud out of 1 billion votes cast in every general, state, midterm, and municipal election was 31; certainly not anything remotely related to ‘rampant’ voter fraud.

In fact, in a recent report released by anti-democracy advocate Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State John Husted, the number of fraudulent votes cast in the 2012 general election was a whopping 0.002397 percent of all votes cast. Obviously, less than three one-thousandths of one percent was more than enough fraud to start charging voters a fee to vote even though so-called ‘fraud’ does not necessarily mean cheating. Husted’s report was virtually echoed by another Republican Secretary of State’s report when Iowa’s Matt Schultz discovered that there were precisely zero cases of voter fraud in 2012 that would have been thwarted by another ALEC voter ID law being pushed in Iowa.

It is little wonder America lags 37 democratic nations in the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development in voter turnout save Japan, Chile, and Switzerland according to a new Pew survey. There may be some voter apathy in America, but the recent numbers reflect the suppression efforts on turnout after Republicans went on a crusade to block the vote of any American unless they are white Christian Republicans. Voter suppression efforts primarily target the elderly, the poor, and out-of-state students that likely lack ‘official’ state-issued identification such as drivers’ licenses.

The 24th Amendment to the Constitution specificallyprohibits Congress and the States from imposing a ‘poll tax’ or fee as a condition to vote.”  The Supreme Court ruled in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections that “a State violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment whenever it makes the affluence of the voter or payment of any fee an electoral standard.” According to that ruling, it does not matter how much money a person is worth, if they are charged one red cent to vote it is considered an unconstitutional poll tax.

The High Court reiterated its opinion in Harper in its 2008 opinion in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board allowing Indiana’s voter ID law by strongly stating that any voter ID law coupled with a mandatory fee is unconstitutional. The Court opinion said that, “The fact that most voters already possess a valid driver’s license, or some other form of acceptable identification, would not save the statute under our reasoning in Harper, if the State required voters to pay a tax or a fee to obtain a new photo identification.”

Obviously Republicans are not dissuaded by either the Constitution or Supreme Court rulings and that is especially the case in Ohio  Republicans’ latest attempt to suppress the vote by charging a fee to participate in the democratic process. Republicans have made no secret that they oppose all Americans’ having the right to vote including the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who said he actually considers it “healthy if less people participated in the political process.”

One way to make the political process even ‘healthier’ for anti-democracy Ohio Republicans is to impose an unconstitutional poll tax. All that is left is for Ohio Republicans to pass legislation requiring a literacy test for the elderly, minorities, and the poor resembling a college exit exam. The literacy test for white religious conservatives will be the ability to spell god or gun to guarantee that Ohio Republicans win every election.

31 Replies to “Ohio Republicans Propose Poll Tax For 2016 Election”

  1. But I thought we live in a post racial country. Since white republicans don’t want to pay a penny more in taxes I will be waiting their outrage of this overreach of government

  2. Oppression and suppression is not going forward. Why did Rubio think his party is the future looking party? Everything they believe in ends up being things we stopped doing for good reasons long ago.

  3. this is precisely the opposite of what we should be doing. election day should be a paid holiday, but only if you provide your employer with a current voting stub. we need to incentivize people to vote, not get in the way of their doing so. let everybody vote and may the best candidate win.

  4. Projection raises its’ head again. Republicans are constantly whining that President Obama is violating the Constitution while they blatantly violate the Constitution. Republicans have to cheat through voter suppression tactics and gerrymandering in order to win elections because they definately can’t win on their policies.

  5. This is pretty much their version of freedom and liberty where one day only the rich will be able to afford to vote when it comes to price.

  6. Other than The Second Ammendment, Republicans don’t know nor care what the rest of The Constitution says. They can’t even get The Second Ammendment right.

  7. I guess they will be sending a bunch of cases to the Supreme Court; since in 1966 in the case of Harper vs the Virginia board of elections had rules 6:3 that polls were UNCONSTITUTIONAL in any kind of election.

    The GOP wants only the rich folks to vote.
    (poor of any color, stay home)

  8. If Chuckie and Davie Koch had it their way, it would cost
    at least a thousand bucks to register at the polls. That
    would keep most of us from interfering in their efforts to
    own our government.

  9. Getting Scary, folks. Again, regardless of color, religion, ethnicity or any other criteria the Koch-roaches use to try and divide us, we, the middle class, must stay united and vote these evil bastards out of all political offices and take this country back. This country must be about the people. The People come first and not just the wealthy ones. Wake Up!

  10. Boy these republicans have failed to read the constitution. Under the 24th Amendment:The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax. Seems like republicans who call out Obama out for breaking the constitution seems to have failed yet again. But then again when your bought by billionaires like the Koch, the constitution doesn’t matter to them.

  11. Diebold=Voter fraud This is the real voter fraud! Very easy to control voting machines, forget about controlling the voters.

  12. Hell, we all will like it when we are subsistence farmer peasants on the Koch-roaches farms, won’t we? They will let us keep some of the crop to eat and throw us some rags to wear. The trickle down economy will be there for us. Who needs to vote? We will have it so good when the rich totally run the whole thing. I wonder what it would be like in a country where the corporations ran the entire thing. I doubt they would allow citizens to posses a firearm. That is when the police state takes over. 1984 anyone?

  13. After the election, while there were news information type stories on Diebold, (From the NY Times big research efforts to blogs on electronic control) I was horrified to walk upto my ATM machine and see it was made by, you guessed it, Diebold.

    How scary is that, they know our finances, have cameras in those machines recording you, and they control our vote machines. Spooked me.

  14. The amazing thing about this group of clowns is that they continually propose legislation like this without wearing bags over their heads. Proving yet again, that conservatives cannot be shamed.

  15. So Obama’s ideal of bringing “Transparentcy to America” is working.
    Look at how much has been exposed since he took office by showing us who, what, where, when and how they have done so much damage to America.

    The transparent attributes have a long list to be wary of such as ignorance breeds, hate breeds, deciet breeds,bias breeds, collusions breeds, “1” percent rules and many others that you list on your own.


  16. Now why would Ohio Republicans want to keep voter turnout low as possible?

    Could it be that no Republican who lost Ohio has won the presidential election in a very long time?

    As Ohio goes so goes the GOP presidential hopes, it’s the one battleground state they must have, especially since Virginia has turned solidly purple.

  17. Shame would indicate a Conscience.
    Conscience would indicate a Soul.
    Republicans sold their Soul to Mammon long ago.

  18. So we’re sliding into becoming a banana republic because repukes are unable to win elections honestly, great.

  19. The only rampant voter fraud going on anywhere in the nation is the blatantly partisan gerrymandering going on by Republican dominated state legislatures.

    How else could the US House of Representatives added so many Reeps when Democrat House candidates got more than 48% of the vote nationwide and the Reep candidates only 47%?

  20. Banana republics happen when elections are first run dishonestly, then turned into a “pageant” (the actual recommendation of a right-wing stink tank), and finally abolished altogether.

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