Friday, June 08, 2007

Democrats in Congress Protect Voting Rights

Yesterday Democrats in Congress defeated a proposal by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that would have required all voters to show photo identification in order to vote.

Not just identification. Photo identification.

Requiring photo identification is the equivalent of imposing a modern day poll tax. A study of Wisconsin voters found that only 22% of African American men aged 18-24 have a photo ID. A requirement like this would unfairly penalize seniors, young people, minorities, people with disabilities and other groups who are less likely to have photo identification. DNC Voting Rights Institute Chair Donna Brazile said:

"The American people were the real winners last night when Democrats stood up and defeated Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s harmful amendment. The Republican Party continues to play politics with the most fundamental right in our Democracy, the right to vote. The American people went to the polls and spoke loud and clear about their desire for change in November. Just because Republicans dislike what Americans are saying doesn’t mean they can block voters’ access to the ballot box. Democrats believe that democracy works best when all legally eligible voters can exercise their right to vote. And we believe that we should be working to make it easier and not harder for Americans to vote and have their vote counted."

New evidence emerged this week about Republican efforts to suppress votes under the guise of cracking down on voter fraud. A lot of the activity is related to the political purge of eight U.S. attorneys.

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