Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Vote without an ID

Houston Chronicle reported My grandmother came from Mexico, played by the rules, became a citizen and earned her right to vote.
Did they give her any sort of document when she became a citizen?
She didn't have a driver's license, but she had her voter registration card, went to the polls where the workers knew her, and voted.
Before or after she became a citizen?
If the voter ID law were in effect, I'm not sure she or others like her could have voted.

This year, close to 120 burdensome voter identification proposals were introduced in state legislatures across the nation. Not one of them has passed yet, and I want to make sure Texas isn't the only state to pass one. For many folks, a voter ID requirement doesn't sound like a big deal, but it would prevent many eligible voters from voting. Many elderly voters don't have a driver's license.
Then they can't cash a check, rent a tape from Blockbusters, or get on an airplane.
Others who are disabled or work two jobs don't have the time, money or ability to get an ID card or documents they would need to vote. And new voter ID requirements would create confusion and long lines at the polls that would discourage many from voting.
Why long lines? It does not take that long to check an ID card.
When more people vote for American Idol contestants than vote for president, we should make it easier for people to vote, not harder. Voter ID proponents say it's necessary to combat "voter fraud" and raise the specter of "illegal aliens" voting, but no one has documented a single case of "voter impersonation" that HB 218 would solve.
Below you talk about 24 convictions. It would seem 24 is greater than 1.
And common sense tells us noncitizens are not going to risk deportation by voting.
Why? If they don't check citizenship, what is the risk?
The bottom line is that voter ID is about politics, not fraud. In a 2004 election contest for a Harris County state House seat, a Texas House committee chaired by a conservative Republican found charges that hundreds of noncitizens voted were false. The Bush Justice Department's "Voting Access and Integrity Initiative," which directed U.S. attorneys to prioritize alleged voter fraud cases, resulted in only 24 convictions from 2002 to 2005.
And yet you say not a single case. Is it 0 or 24?
And the U.S. Election Assistance Commission found "that the accusations regarding widespread fraud are unjustified."

Voter ID laws passed in Georgia and Missouri were struck down by the courts, which concluded that the cost of obtaining the ID and necessary documents amounts to a 21st century poll tax.
I don't know about Missouri, but in Georgia they were not going to charge the poor, and they were going to drive a van to their community to get them IDs.
In my community, there are veterans
Do the veterans have an ID?
and people like my grandmother who earned their right to vote and shouldn't be forced to pay the modern day version of a poll tax. They are the real heroes in this story. I'm in Austin because it's my job to protect their right to vote.

Consider MEXICO'S laws:
  • There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools, no special ballots for elections -- all government business will be conducted in our language.
  • Foreigners will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here.
  • Foreigners will NEVER be able to hold political office.
  • Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no
    health care, or other government assistance programs.
  • Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.
  • If foreigners do come and want to buy land that will be okay, BUT options will be restricted. You are not allowed waterfront property. That is reserved for citizens naturally born into this country.
  • Foreigners may not protest; no demonstrations, no waving a foreign flag, no political
    organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies, if you do you will be sent home.
  • If you do come to this country illegally, you will be hunted down and sent straight to jail.

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