Arkansas Disenfranchises Legitimate Voters

1859_Colton_Map_of_Arkansas_-_Geographicus_-_Arkansas-colton-1860Arkansas Disenfranchises Legitimate Voters

The curse of fake voter fraud strikes innocent Arkansans. I went and had a look at the opposing sides on this controversy. Those who say there is hardly any voter fraud at all can call forth an utterly impressive array of factual data. How about the other side? They explain with breathless enthusiasm that millions and millions of dead Americans are on the voting rolls and therefore there could be a lot of voter fraud although the cases prosecuted number in the tens.

Maybe I’m just not the kind of bold thinker that the proponents of voter ID are, but it seems to me that if you are worried about dead people on the voting, it should be simple matter of computer matching of state databases to remove them from the roles. Am I mistaken? Wouldn’t it just be simpler to let state and county computers go through the voting rolls and remove the dead than taking the risk of disenfranchising legitimate voters?

Of course, a cynical person might believe that the legislature is seeking to make it more difficult to vote for the young, the poor, the old and minorities. However, it is obvious that the upstanding members of the Arkansas legislature would not attack any right as sacred as the right to vote. So, there must be another explanation.

James Pilant

Arkansas County Disenfranchises 1 In 5 Absentee Voters Thanks To Voter ID | ThinkProgress

Last Tuesday, voters in Pulaski County, Arkansas voted on whether to approve a tax that would fund improvements at a local technical college. Yet, nearly 20 percent of the voters who cast an absentee ballot were disenfranchised thanks to the state’s new voter ID law.

In 2013, the Arkansas legislature enacted a voter ID law containing a provision requiring absentee voters to include a copy of their ID along with their ballot. The result, according to a statement Pulaski County Election Commissioner Chris Burks gave to the Arkansas Times, is that 76 of the 384 absentee ballots cast in last Tuesday’s election were not counted. Burks added that, “[i]n my opinion, those absentee ballots returned without ID were 76 real people’s votes that would have otherwise counted but for the sloppily drafted Voter ID bill.”

via Arkansas County Disenfranchises 1 In 5 Absentee Voters Thanks To Voter ID | ThinkProgress.

From around the web.

From the web site, Charles O’Halloran Boyd.

Another reason I have for opposing voter ID laws is their disproportionate impact on minority voters. Any policy that is enacted with the goal of preventing people of a certain race from voting obviously ought to be vehemently opposed. But given the history of racial discrimination and disenfranchisement in this country, it is also imperative that we try to avoid policies that have even an unintentional impact disproportionately on voters of a certain race. In order to continue to move closer toward a more racially egalitarian society, it is important to have a multitude of voters of all races. I would also state that while, as I mentioned earlier, some supporters of voter ID laws are well meaning and non-racist, others are certainly racist and working to disenfranchise minority voters. Not long ago, Mississippi had a governor named Haley Barbour who venerated Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy and had documented ties with the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. Barbour was also in support of voter ID laws, and I do not think I am being overly judgmental to conclude that he had nefarious motivations. A somewhat similar case exists in my native state of Georgia. Back when he was making an unfortunately successful attempt to get elected, our current Governor Nathan Deal was championing our state’s voter ID law and let his true feelings be known. “We got all the complaints of the ghetto grandmothers who didn’t have birth certificates and all that,” Deal said, derisively. While in office, he has promoted “Confederate History Month” and called an attempt from a liberal organization to gain his endorsement for a racially integrated prom (frighteningly, segregation of high school proms is still an issue in the South) a “silly publicity stunt.” Again, Deal’s motives don’t look so good. The country has made a great deal of progress when it comes to achieving universal suffrage and breaking down racial barriers to voting. But voter ID laws are a step in the wrong direction, and they must be repealed.