Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Shameful Voter ID laws

Texas is having one of the most important elections ever -- the Democrats have a chance to put a woman in office as governor and to take control of the legislature. Republicans are enforcing the harsh voter ID law passed in 2011 and disenfranchising the poor, elderly, and minority voters they fear might vote against them.

As a native Texan, I am so sad about this. The UK newspaper, The Guardian , has been reporting on this ever since the U.S. Court of Appeals turned down a request to suspend the law pending a hearing on its constitutionality last week. Correspondent Ed Pilkington reports, in the October 27 issue of the UK paper, on the experience of Eric Kennie, an Austin native.

Here is the photo of Eric Lyndell Kennie from that report:
Eric Lyndell Kennie, of Austin, with a current voter registration certificate and an expired photo ID card. Photograph: Kambiz Shabanakare//Corbis

 But Tennessee passed a similar law in 2012. And the Republicans have used it just as effectively here, for the same purposes as in Texas.  There is no voter fraud, the ostensible reason for these severe laws. In Tennessee there have been only 2 documented instances of voter fraud in the past 30 years. 

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