Blocking the Vote

Lest you think Democrats are whining about nothing when they claim that Republicans are trying to disenfranchise voters who traditionally vote Democrat and went overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in 2008, this from Ohio:

Ohio Early Voting Cutbacks Disenfranchise Minority Voters | The Nation: ‘‘I cannot create unequal access from one county board to another, and I must also keep in mind resources available to each county,” Husted said in explaining his decision to deny expanded early voting hours in heavily Democratic counties. Yet in solidly Republican counties like Warren and Butler, GOP election commissioners have approved expanded early voting hours on nights and weekends. Noted the Cincinnati Enquirer: “The counties where Husted has joined other Republicans to deny expanded early voting strongly backed then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008, while most of those where the extra hours will stand heavily supported GOP nominee John McCain.” Moreover, budget constraints have not stopped Republican legislators from passing costly voter ID laws across the map since 2010.

So, extending early voting hours in largely Republican counties is okay, but doing the same in largely Democratic counties is not?

This isn’t just happening in Ohio. The Pennsylvania Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R) said, in June, that the state’s voter ID law was “gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state.” (video)

And in Florida, Republican Governor Rick Scott has been hard at work trying to purge what he says are ineligible voters from voting rolls, though 87% of people on the purge list are people of color and at least 58% of the people on the list are Hispanic (groups that historically vote Democrat), numerous county election officials have refused to comply because of problems with the list, and many of the people on the list are in fact citizens who are eligible to vote.

Republicans across the country have decided that the only way they can win is to suppress those who would vote for Democrats. This is an affront to what our country stands for and that comes into particular focus as we just celebrated the 47th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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