Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Losing The Right To Vote

Over at The Hill, Juan Williams puts the rise of voter ID laws squarely on the backs of black voters, most of whom agree that voter ID should be necessary, and blames us for being ignorant of history.

Why are Democrats losing the debate over voting rights? 
The biggest political fight shaping the 2016 campaigns for the White House and Senate is over limiting the Democrats’ base of likely voters.

President Obama twice won the White House by bringing more young people and minorities, his biggest supporters, into the political process — and into the voting booth. Republicans are now pushing back to increase their electoral chances in 2016.

And they are winning.

Even most black Americans — people who, overwhelmingly, don’t vote Republican — currently favor new requirements for voters to have photo identification. Three-quarters of all voters — people of all races and political parties — favor such laws, according to polls
The black support for photo identification of voters can only be described as amazing.

For most of the twentieth century, violence, poll taxes and literacy tests were used by segregationists to deny black people the right to vote.

The current state of public opinion, including among the black community, is doubly incredible because there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud anywhere in the nation.
Williams goes on to point out that 71% of black voters and 55% of Democrats favor voter ID laws, but I don't think it's fair to pin this on black voters when all US groups favor them.  We need to educate everyone on what Republicans are doing with voter ID laws.

Williams is at least getting the ball rolling here, but blaming black America for voter ID laws is a bit like blaming black America for Jim Crow laws. We didn't pass them, Republicans did, in states controlled by Republican lawmakers voted into power by white voters.

There's a difference.

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