Wednesday, May 13, 2015

WTF Moment From Ohio: Pay Your Poll Tax or You Can't Vote

Close Scrutiny Does Not Reveal Voter ID Fraud 
(Just Lots of GOP Fear-Mongering)

Jon Husted (Photo by Tony Dejak/AP)
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R)
(He's Baaaaaaaaaaack)

Ohio Out to Break the Law
(and they don't give a damn)

This major update is about Ohio and combines a previous post. Ohio, the “Buckeye state,” which probably now should be renamed to the “Black Eye.” This story comes from here, in part:

Twenty-four members of the Ohio House of Representatives — all Republicans — cosponsored a bill introduced last week that would require many Ohio residents to pay an actual poll tax in order to vote. NOTE: Poll taxes are forbidden by the United States Constitution (cite: 24th Amendment in 1964).  

Under this legislation, many voters would have to pay a fee in order to obtain an ID card that they need to vote, thus effectively imposing a tax on the right to vote.

The poll tax is tucked into a voter ID bill, another common form of legislation that prevents many Americans from casting a ballot. Though voter ID’s proponents claim they are necessary to combat voter fraud at the polls, such fraud is virtually nonexistent. 

A report released by Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State John Husted’s office found that 0.002397 percent of votes cast in the 2012 election were the product of fraud. A similar report by Iowa’s Republican former Secretary of State Matt Schultz uncovered exactly zero cases of fraud that would have been prevented by a voter ID law.

Voter ID laws do, however, disproportionately target young voters, low-income voters and people of color — all of whom tend to prefer Democrats over Republicans.

So, the GOP's purpose is (silly me): Win at cost no matter what or how anyone is hurt or hampered.

Previous update: based on the GOP's latest and more aggressive moves on voting rights — it was snagged from here as an introduction to my historical notes that follow - enjoy.  Lately, the Republican war on voting has re-emerged with a vengeance.

From Georgia to Nevada, the GOP is taking advantage of gains made in last fall’s midterms to move forward with restrictive laws — defying some predictions that the party might back off its campaign to make voting harder. Meanwhile, a group of Republican election officials has found a creative new way to stoke fears over illegal voting.

Further, a roundup by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU – a leader on this subject, found that at least 40 restrictive voting bills have been introduced in state legislatures just since the start of the year. But more revealing, recent weeks have seen advances for some of the most far-reaching of those bills. Continues at the above link.

Now history and the facts about immigrants voting in the United States ... that is if facts matter and they should.

The right of foreigners to vote in the United States has historically been a contentious issue. A foreigner, in this context, is a person who is not citizen of the United States. Over 40 states or territories, including colonies before the Declaration of Independence, allowed at one time admitted aliens voting rights for some or all elections. (Note: I am sure this surprises many, it did me, too during my research)!!

In 1874, the Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett noted that “citizenship has not in all cases been made a condition precedent to the enjoyment of the right of suffrage. Thus, in Missouri, persons of foreign birth, who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, may under certain circumstances vote.”

By 1900, nearly one-half of the states and territories had some experience with voting by aliens, and for some the experience lasted more than half a century. However, at the turn of the twentieth century, anti-immigration feeling ran very high.

  1. In 1901, Alabama stopped allowing aliens to vote by way of a constitutional change.
  2. In 1902, Colorado followed suit.
  3. In 1908, so did Wisconsin.
  4. In 1914, Oregon stopped aliens from registering and voting.  
  5. In 1918, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota all changed their constitutions to purge alien suffrage.
  6. In 1921, Indiana and Texas joined that trend.  
  7. In 1924, Mississippi jointed the same trend.
  8. In 1926, finally, the last state, Arkansas, joined that same trend.
  9. By 1931, political scientist Leon Aylsworth noted: “For the first time in over a hundred years, a national election was held in 1928 in which no alien in any state had the right to cast a vote for a candidate for any office — national, state, or local.”
Since then, only U.S. citizens have the right to vote in federal elections. It is a Federal crime for a non-citizen to vote in a federal election or to register to vote in one.

Yet, the GOP persists that 2016 will be the very worst ever since Mr. Obama wants immigration reform and thus voting rights for immigrants.

Fear certainly sells. Let's face it, the GOP all across the land have become experts on how to peddle fear, and that is awful for the country. 

Original post and one update now follow from here:  Husted, Ohio’s top elections official, says he’s worried that President Obama’s executive order on immigration will make it easier for non-citizens to vote. But the numbers don’t bear out his concern. He wrote in a letter to the president, just released by his office, that warned the president’s Executive Order on undocumented (illegal) immigrants will allow them to obtain a driver’s license and social security number, thus opening the door to illegal voting.

Specifically Husted wrote: “By enabling millions of non-citizens to access valid forms of the types of identification required to register to vote, the recent executive actions have increased the risk that non-citizens may illegally register to vote and vote in our elections. The debate over voter fraud and voter access already breeds significant hyperbole from across the political spectrum. Your recent executive actions will invite even more, and have very real and lasting implications for the integrity of our elections.”

The hype and hysteria generated by the GOP all across la-la land (playing to their voting base mostly) is worrisome and not letting up despite some states have reversed the harsh laws. The GOP seems to see a bogeyman every place they look – you know, like standing right next an ISIS terrorist who sneaked into the U.S. from Mexico among all those young kids a few months ago and is hiding in plain sight.

This GOP’s actions on this issue are shameful, yet they remain shameless.

That story from Ohio is here – enjoy and please, track this issue closely … it is paramount to preserving our very fabric: the right to vote and choose the kind of government and country we want and not what the hand-wringing GOP tells us we need.  

Try and be honest, this is how many Americans have now come to see what the GOP stands for. Hard to deny, isn't it?

Original Post Starts from Here:

Plea to the GOP and their RED State Pol Pals: Stop Your Assault on Voting Rights. There is compelling evidence that your voter ID laws are total and utter büllshït. The facts are against you - see below. That is if you have the nerve to examine the data - call it "Fake Voter ID Fraud Denying." 

An excellent article that is an outstanding report that offers a detailed analysis from

First, ask yourself these six questions: They kind of lead the way - linked here - check them out and continue below.  The main story: This latest should grab your attention with this in mind: Suppose it were you under scrutiny like so many valid, duly-registered, honest voters? Would you be upset?

Loyola University law professor Justin Levitt tried to quantify the epidemic of voter ID fraud that's forcing so many states to pass restrictive voter ID laws. He looked for not only cases where someone was convicted, but tracked "any specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls, in any way that an ID law could fix." Out of roughly a billion votes cast, he found 31 credible cases of voter ID fraud. And that is, he thinks, an overestimate. At the same time, thousands of people really are being turned away from polling places because they don't have the right ID. So voter ID laws fix a fake problem by creating a very real one. Which isn't to say voter fraud isn't real. In an August interview on MSNBC, Professor Levitt explained why the voter ID laws don't do anything to address the main kinds of voter fraud - see video clip at the above link or click here - pretty dramatic.

This update: It follows that if the GOP were to honest and admit their real aim and real goal, that maybe we could actually work for all eligible, loyal, honest, bona fide, registered American voters who want to exercise their Constitutional right to vote and not infringed by anything. This chart I believe actually shows part of the GOP plan and the numbers from the Brennan Center supports the people not the GOP tactics.

To me, and I presume to millions of other Americans who take our voting rights seriously, this "voter ID movement" is a fake raw useless effort to stop or prevent a problem that does not and has not existed except in the minds of those who are making our voting rights more difficult and in far too many cases, unnecessary. Follow the data and decide for yourself - it's compelling and all for the wrong reasons.  

Scores of data is here from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU. I have a lot a links on this subject scattered throughout this Blog. Check them out. This is the most-pressing and compelling in the country that defines who we are ... without unhampered voting rights we are who we say we are, with the GOP's ploys, well, that is in serious danger and threatens our very existence as a free people and that is our right to vote and choose the kind of government we want - not what the pols think they know what we need.

Thanks for stopping and pitch in and do whatever you can to help stop this fake issue.

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