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The Virginia GOP Just Made Voting More Difficult for Poor People

Virginia doesn’t make it easy to vote, and this afternoon, the state lawmakers have tightened requirements, passing a voter-identification bill that would eliminate several forms of ID currently accepted at the polls:

Senate Bill 719, sponsored by Sen. Richard H. Black, R-Loudoun, would not go into effect until 2014 and stipulates a voter education component – the result of a Democratic amendment the chamber adopted Monday, also thanks to Bolling’s tie-breaking vote.

The Senate legislation, and a companion measure – House Bill 1337, sponsored by Del. Mark L. Cole, R-Spotsylvania, which cleared the House of Delegates today on a 63–36 vote – would eliminate the use of a utility bill, pay stub, bank statement, government check and Social Security card as acceptable identification that can be presented at the polls. Voters would still be able to use a voter identification card, concealed handgun permit, driver’s license and student ID card.

Put simply, voting has just become more difficult for those Virginians who don’t have driver’s licenses, don’t own concealed weapons, and aren’t students.

If your priority is voter integrity—i.e., preventing voter fraud—it’s hard to understand the reason for this change. Social Security cards, pay stubs, utility bills, bank statements, and government checks are hard to fake, and are accepted standards for identification for other government functions—the Virginia DMV, for example, lists Social Security cards as acceptable proof of legal U.S. residency.

But if this is just a way to make voting difficult for core Democratic constituencies, then this change makes a lot of sense. In the absence of automatic, state-issued voter IDs, a broader standard for identification is immensely helpful to lower-income people who have access to electric bills, but might not have a driver’s license, or own a gun. By limiting what people can use to identify themselves, Virginia Republicans are throwing another hurdle in front of the voters who supported President Obama, and gave him his victory in the state.

Indeed, when you partner this with last month’s proposed bill to allocate electoral votes by congressional district—and tilt the playing field in favor of Republican presidential candidates—it’s clear the Virginia GOP is looking for any way to blunt the rising influence of Democratic voters in the state. And because Republicans have an enduring lock on the statehouse, odds are good that they’ll succeed.

by Anonymousreply 2802/09/2013

[quote] Social Security cards, pay stubs, utility bills, bank statements, and government checks are hard to fake, and are accepted standards for identification for other government functions—the Virginia DMV, for example, lists Social Security cards as acceptable proof of legal U.S. residency.

There's no excuse for what they're doing, I don't see how this can continue without some kind of protest because it is massively unfair.

by Anonymousreply 102/06/2013

There will have to be an exceptional commitment by Democrats in minority / urban circles to get the message out about how to attain acceptable ID. It should be accompanied with a strong message that action is needed to fight minority voter suppression.

by Anonymousreply 202/06/2013

Republicans are the cheaters of the class.

by Anonymousreply 302/06/2013

Democrats need to turn out in large numbers to fight back and overcome the voter suppression, like they did in 2012

by Anonymousreply 402/06/2013

At one time "Not To Be Used As Identification" was on Social Security cards. Now our SS number is used for everything including medical benefits and driver licenses.

by Anonymousreply 502/06/2013

As the Republicans try to raise the retirement age and cut Medicare and Social Security, they want to guarantee that seniors have a difficult time voting.

by Anonymousreply 602/08/2013

If We the People can pay Kellogg, Brown & Root $100 a bag to wash every bag of dirty laundry generated by every soldier in Iraq for ten years, we can afford to provide a Voter ID card, at public expense, to every American over the age of 18 who is legally permitted to vote.

by Anonymousreply 802/08/2013

There was nothing wrong with the forms of ID they accepted in the past, so why all of a sudden is there a problem now? There's no excuse for what these right wingers are doing, it is voter suppression plain and simple.

by Anonymousreply 902/08/2013

R7 Did you bother reading the article? If you did, you would know having a Social Security card is NOT going to be accepted ID. And the millions of illegals voting? Really? What proof is there this is happening? (and no, the coke fueled ramblings of Glenn Beck does not count as proof)

by Anonymousreply 1002/08/2013

R7, you're an idiot. Many poor folk do not have any of those things especially if they're from rural areas. It was chronicled this past election that in some instances trying to get to places where they can get proper ID is itself a hardship.

by Anonymousreply 1102/08/2013

I have an idea. There are people of goodwill in Red States, just not enough to matter. So lets take all the good people and have them relocate to states that are on the edge. We can get Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia into the Blue State column with no harm. Then the people of goodwill who we relocated, their votes will mean something and they will live where they have an impact.

I hate the fucking GOP.

by Anonymousreply 1202/08/2013

Voting should be EASIER not more difficult simply because some folks don't care for certain members of the electorate.

by Anonymousreply 1302/08/2013

They will never change their evil ways.

If Democrates started a war with the GOP...who would we attack? How would the war get started?

by Anonymousreply 1402/08/2013

There should also be a national standard to provide a verifiable re-count for every voting district in all federal primaries and elections.

A result stolen in one state is a felony against the entire nation.

by Anonymousreply 1502/08/2013

[quote] If a person doesn't have a driver's license, they can always get a state non-driver ID. These are not costly AT ALL but if this is an issue, maybe the states should lower the fee on them to $5 or something like that.

It isn't only about cost. Some people live in rural areas where the nearest motor vehicle department or other state office which handles these IDs could be a hundred or more miles away from their home. The elderly and the poor often have great difficulty getting to these places in order to get their IDs.

by Anonymousreply 1702/08/2013

R18 needs to go back to Free Republic.

by Anonymousreply 1902/08/2013

R18 Please come back with something more concrete than "someone told me something". Thats not proof.

by Anonymousreply 2102/08/2013

R18 is NOT a Democrat.

by Anonymousreply 2202/08/2013

Is voter fraud a big enough problem to justify the massive expense all these measures entail?

Election fraud is a problem, but one that the Republicans want us to ignore. We get all this brouhaha about a negligible problem as misdirection. Please don't notice the vote counting problems. Please don't notice the voting machine and program problems. Please ignore the man behind the curtain.

by Anonymousreply 2302/08/2013

True, the only ones committing true fraud when it comes to voting are the Republicans, they are cheating and destroying democracy.

by Anonymousreply 2402/08/2013

So, why did you lie, Freep, R25? Don't tell me, you're one of those Republicunts who changed their party ID to "independent" because you were too embarrassed to admit you voted for W twice? Voter fraud is practically non-existent in this country. Republican operatives have gone on record saying that the push for voter ID legislation was created to suppress the vote of key Democratic Party constituencies, so cut the crap, shitheels.

R20, I don't know why I'm bothering because you're a cunt and a bigot to boot, but the problem isn't the price, it's the inconvenience. You can't obtain your birth certificate without an ID and you can't get an ID without a birth certificate.

You do realize that they no longer give free birth certificates away when you leave the hospital with your newborn, right? They give you a birth letter, and the papers to send away for a birth certificate (which requires an ID, check or money order). Low income women do not bother getting birth certificates for their children. Trust me, I speak from experience. They. Don't. Because of what a pain in the ass it is to get a birth certificate--it can take weeks or months for them to refuse your application, let alone send the certificate--many are able to enroll their children in school with just the birth letter. Which they lose, anyway. Constantly. I've given many a ride to many a relative to the hospital to purchase or beg for a new birth letter. Which, ironically, considering your cunty post, cost 10 dollars.

Thus, many low-income Americans come of age never having had a birth certificate through no fault of their own. Ever. No birth certificate, no ID.

by Anonymousreply 2602/08/2013

Actually, I am an independent because I don't believe in either parties ideas. If that's what you want to classify me as, that's your choice. And you can say that voter fraud is almost non existent, but I know otherwise. I can't force you to believe it, but others won't close their eyes and want the problem fixed.

P.S. My cousin just had her baby and the hospital gives you an unofficial birth certificate and send in the info to the State. The state then sends you 1 free Certificate of Live Birth. You have to have to have that for any State benefits, when you put the child in school etc.

by Anonymousreply 2702/09/2013

Political parties should not be allowed to make these decisions based on their own attempts to stack the deck. These decisions should only be made by independent judicial authorities.

by Anonymousreply 2802/09/2013
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