Today was an eventful day in the fight against voter ID laws. In Wisconsin, ACT 23 was permanently struck down by a Dane County Circuit Court judge in a ruling released this afternoon (March 12). In Texas, a Federal court blocked a similar law that opponents claimed unfairly disenfranchised Hispanic voters. This on the heels of a law enacted in South Carolina, that was recently blocked by the U.S. Justice department, that holds veto power over certain civil rights laws in several southern states.
Voter ID has long been a favorite cause of Republicans in Congress and state houses to “combat voter fraud”. The claim of voter fraud has been a dubious one since there still remains little evidence that organized and widespread fraud exists. It surely does not exist on a scale that requires additional laws such as voter ID. While voter fraud does exist, annecdotal evidence does not a threat to democracy make. What is a threat to our democracy are laws like ACT 23 which harm whole groups of citizenry by throwing up barriers to voting in the spirit of, if not the actual method of poll taxes which were outlawed by 1966. Continue reading