Somewhere, The Dead Cry Out: DISCRIMINATION!
Anytime someone comes up with an idea that makes it harder for someone to take advantage of the system -- ANY system -- in order to break the rules and get away with it, you can depend on at least one thing to happen....
...the ACLU will come out against it:
WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed its disappointment with the House passage of a bill placing undue and unnecessary burdens on Americans’ fundamental right to vote. H.R. 4844, the "Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006," requires voters to present a government-issued photo ID in order to vote in federal elections. In addition, beginning in 2010 voters would be required to present a photo ID that was issued based on proof of citizenship in order to vote. The measure passed by a vote of 228-196.
The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:
"Less than two months after the renewal of the Voting Rights Act, the House of Representatives has chosen to pass legislation disenfranchising the very citizens the VRA was designed to protect. No eligible citizen should have to pay to vote. There are voters who simply don’t have photo ID and requiring them to purchase one in order to vote would be tantamount to a poll tax. This measure will disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minority voters, senior citizens, voters with disabilities, and others who do not have photo identification nor the financial means to acquire it."
Translation: "Oh, no! Say it ain't so! How dare they make it so
How can we possibly be so cruel to our photo-ID-less brothers and sisters who...
1) can't legally get a job
2) can't legally cash a check even if somebody gave them a job
3) can't legally drive a car
4) can't legally apply for federal aid of any kind
5) can't legally begin any kind of post-high-school education...
...in short, anyone who hasn't bothered to make any real effort to become a law-abiding, productive citizen of this country in the first place?
(Boy, that word "legally" sure pops up in a bunch of places on that list, doesn't it?
I wonder why.)
I tell you what, if you ever wanted to discourage honest people from immigrating to this country and trying to live their own lives as part of the American experience, THAT'S the way to do it.
But then, why do it the hard way....when there's any number of people over here who'll promise you the moon and the paperwork to back it up, as long as you do what THEY want you to?
After all, they're looking out for your rights. Right?
For those who wish to peruse the bill as it was passed, here ya go. (Wherein is explained, by the way, how ANY LEGAL CITIZEN of this country would be able to obtain -- at little to no cost, depending on the situation -- a specific photo ID which will allow him/her to vote.)
Tip o'the rock to the crew at Stop The ACLU.
UPDATE: The ever-informed Don Surber brings to our attention that the New York Times, never to be outdone by a bunch of piss-ant lawyers, is jumping up-and-down in lockstep outrage over this, too:
The bill the House passed yesterday would require people to show photo ID to vote in 2008. Starting in 2010, that photo ID would have to be something like a passport, or an enhanced kind of driver’s license or non-driver’s identification, containing proof of citizenship. This is a level of identification that many Americans simply do not have.
As I stated above...If you legally have a job, drive a car, receive federal aid, or are continuing your education, YOU ALREADY HAVE A LEGAL PHOTO ID. And I would wager that any law-abiding citizen who already has one form of legal photo ID won't have too much of a problem getting another one in order to LEGALLY vote, because they understand WHY it is necessary.
The bill was sold as a means of deterring vote fraud, but that is a phony argument. There is no evidence that a significant number of people are showing up at the polls pretending to be other people, or that a significant number of noncitizens are voting.
Don says he can prove otherwise. Go ask him.
Noncitizens, particularly undocumented ones, are so wary of getting into trouble with the law that it is hard to imagine them showing up in any numbers and trying to vote. The real threat of voter fraud on a large scale lies with electronic voting, a threat Congress has refused to do anything about.
As many times as I've seen evidence of this newspaper's real intent, I STILL cannot believe they say things like this.
IF YOU ARE NOT A CITIZEN OF AMERICA, YOU CAN'T VOTE FOR THE LEADERS OF AMERICA!!! We do it this way for a reason. We do NOT want the next Hugo Chavez to have a say in who runs this nation!
The actual reason for this bill is the political calculus that certain kinds of people — the poor, minorities, disabled people and the elderly — are less likely to have valid ID. They are less likely to have cars, and therefore to have drivers’ licenses. There are ways for nondrivers to get special ID cards, but the bill’s supporters know that many people will not go to the effort if they don’t need them to drive.
*BZZZZT* Sorry, not the answer we were looking for. Thanks for playing.
The bill's supporters know that any LAW-ABIDING citizens who want to vote will HAPPILY make the effort to get one, be they poor, elderly, disabled, black, white, red, yellow, or purple-polka-dotted -- even if they have to take the bus to do it -- because they know they have nothing to gain (and possibly quite a bit to lose) by NOT doing it.
Thanks for the heads-up, Don. We at the Point greatly appreciate those who willingly strap on the hipwaders and keep tabs on the Shady Lady, so the rest of us don't have to.