Voter Suppression Efforts


— by John Oliver Mason

There are efforts by Republican state governors in to keep unfavorable voters from voting. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a voter ID bill prohibiting people who don’t have state ID cards or driver’s licenses from voting — and very conveniently closed ten inner-city Department of Motor Vehicles offices where people could get their IDs while adding extended hours in the suburbs.

While the law allows Voter ID’s to be obtained free of charge (in order to avoid being construed as an illegal poll tax), Gov. Walkers has told DMV workers to not inform customers of their rights. One DMV worker, Chris Larsen, has already been fired for encouraging people to get their free ID’s.

This is a deliberate attempt to prevent African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, college students, and seniors from voting, or making it inconvenient to apply for a form of ID. Similar laws have been introduced in Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Colorado, Montana, and Texas; there has also been cases of “voter caging,” where voting officials challenge a voter’s qualification to vote, thus intimidating the potential voter.

More after the jump.
All this has been done in the name of “voter integrity” and “fair elections;” this, from the party of 2000, the party of voter fraud in Florida, of voters who would have voted against George W. Bush purged from the rolls, where voters were intimidated by police, where the votes of the Supreme Court mattered-voter integrity, indeed! The idea is to prevent low-income, poor and working people-the same people-from voting and seeking their empowerment, thus skewing the state in favor of the wealthy and corporations.

The cat popped out of the bag when conservative writer Matthew Vadum wrote,

Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?… Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians. Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.

And here’s the kicker:

Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals… It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote. … Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn’t about helping the poor. It’s about helping the poor to help themselves to others’ money.

So wealthy people and corporations, that allowed this economic catastrophe to occur due to their ignorance and greed,  that get trillions of dollars of federal money because they’re “too big to fail”, are productive, while working and low-income people, who work for money and spend it at local stores, thus boosting the economy, and leeches? Wonderful logic! And it’s worded so that the villain is “some one else, not you nice people”.

In the seventies, the New Right movement, through the direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie, concocted the line of “producers,” working people and corporations, as opposed to “non-producers,” government, universities, welfare recipients, etc., to give a “populist” look to the movement; fascist movements in Europe also tried to look “revolutionary,” to appeal to the masses. Now the “populist” facade has fallen off the plutocratic edifice that is contemporary conservativism. If the conservatives are such populists, why are they trying to keep people from voting?    

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