Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Good Luck on Voting come next year especially if you are non-white, lower income, or elderly

I actually had high hopes that US Attorney General Eric Holder was going to announce the issuance of stay or motion in federal court that would place a hold on the voter suppression laws that have been passed across the nation, but primarily in the South by GOP-led state legislatures. 

Instead US AG Holder did a speech today in Austin on the discussion summed up in the quote "don't take voting rights for granted."  Well, that is comforting but has no legal teeth behind it.  It seems like AG Holder is holding back on doing anything or is the US Justice Department although voter suppression will be widespread come next year.  He also expressed there are ongoing investigations involving some cases of voter suppression but no specifics. 

Le sigh!  I guess it will be another episode of rewind that has been orchestrated by the social regressives/conservatives that love to expressing their false accusation of voter fraud when the real agenda is to block the ability to vote of those unconventional citizens such as non-whites, college/graduate students, and seniors. 

Also I find it sad that the case of Dorothy Cooper, the 96-year-old black woman from Chattanooga, was swept under the rug in October after the state of Tennessee passed a new law that requires voters to have a photo ID to certify voter registration.  In Mrs. Cooper's case, she needed her marriage certificate along with other documents including her birth certificate, rent receipt, copy of her lease, and voter registration card to verify herself to get a photo ID from the Tennessee Drivers Service Center in east Chattanooga, but was denied anyway.  The new law creates this situation where all documents including documents verifying name changes, in case of marriage, has to be present when registration occurs.  Obviously, Mrs. Cooper was prepared because she had all the aforementioned document in a sealed Manila envelope with the exception of her marriage certificate.   Mrs. Cooper never learned to drive so she didn't have a Tennessee Drivers' License, but prior to was able to vote in every election except 1960. Instead the Hamilton County Administrator of Elections, Chattanooga's home county, told her to vote with an absentee ballot, and that is the provision is the thing allowing the federal courts to uphold this regressive law in TN as well as Indiana (no surprise considering how non-whites are pretty much in Chicago suburbs of NW Indiana and Indianapolis).

What has gotten me about this whole situation is the fact it took the voter suppression of a 84-year old elderly white woman, Ruthelle Frank, of Brokaw, Wisconsin being forced to pay $200 to get a birth certificate in response to the new law in Wisconsin requiring such to register to vote.  The ACLU of Wisconsin along with the National Law Center on Homeless and Poverty is filing a lawsuit in federal court against the state due to the hardship it causes for those.  The suit names embattled Wisconsin governor Scott Walker among the defendants.

Le sigh!  It's a good thing this problem has been exposed and I'm socially egalitarian and all for the fight for the everyone to have a fair and equitable society.  However, why does it take even in 2011 (almost 2012) the suffering of whites to spotlight the oppression of the 'undesirables' in our society including non-whites?  That's all I'm asking, why are we still a myopic society where this still occurs? 

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