Suz Korbel reports on voter suppression in Texas:
The voter suppression laws are popping up everywhere, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), the aspiring Governor, wasted no time jumping on the bandwagon once the Supremes gutted the Voting Rights Act. There are many good groups aware of the problems and trying to stop the Voter ID laws, but the bandwagon has become a bullet train and I’m not sure even throwing our bodies on the tracks will be enough to stop it.
So, the new Voter ID laws not only signal to those without photo ID that they should just not bother to vote, but once there, everybody gets to spend more up-close personal time with election judges, with your identity being scruitinized. I estimate that even if everybody comes to the polls this coming March for the primaries with photo ID, whatever time they waited in the past will be at least doubled.
Fellow Texans, be sure to thank Governor Perry and his elephant friends for the extra time you’ll get to spend with your neighbors next election day. For the rest of you, don’t bother waiting up for the results from the Lone Star state.
… [T]he South is no longer all that different from the rest of the country. But that’s not so much because the South is now better — the open racism of the years before 1965 is gone – as because the rest of the country is now worse. It would be a sad irony if the Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act because it regulates too much in too many places, when the truth is that it regulates too little in too few.
Jeffrey Toobin, writing in The New Yorker (Jan. 14, 2013) about the Voting Rights Act
… [A] recent study by Theodore Allen, an associate professor at Ohio State University, found that, in central Florida alone, long lines, exacerbated by a law that reduced the number of days for early voting, discouraged about fifty thousand people, most of them Democrats, from casting ballots.
Jeffrey Toobin, writing about voting rights and the 2012 election in The New Yorker, Jan. 14, 2013
Republicans in Florida are fessing up to it: the whole plan on Election Day was to suppress voters. The Palm Beach Post is reporting that a number of former and current Republican officials in the state have admitted that laws that cut down on early voting had one main purpose – to cut down on voting. As Former Florida Republican Party Chairman, Jim Greer, said, “The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates…It’s done for one reason and one reason only. … ‘We’ve got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us.’” Former Republican Governor Charlie Crist said that while he was in office between 2007 and 2011 – he was approached by Republican officials to cut down on early voting, too. Expect these efforts to continue heading into the next election.
Sue Stirgis of the North Carolina-based Institute for Southern Studies gives a by-the-numbers report on the Voting Rights Act debate.