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In the wake of America’s transfer of political power from the earners to the redistribution beneficiaries, many conservatives have wondered whether the power to vote should be connected with paying taxes, owning property, not being convicted criminals, or at the very least, not receiving benefits. Liberals, by contrast, have attempted to broaden the voting base, hoping that the more impoverished non-workers there are to vote for them, the more power they will gain.
In this week’s Rolling Stone, columnist Ari Berman attempts to paint this argument as a basic conflict between right and wrong. “Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting,” Berman writes, “a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts, and the elderly from casting ballots.”
What are those dastardly conservatives up to? Berman points out that five states – Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia – cut short their early voting periods. Horror of horrors! What’s the problem here? Presumably, Democrats load up in the early voting. But that hasn’t been true historically – according to Gallup, those 65+ are most likely to vote early, and Republicans are more likely than Democrats to vote early by a margin of 28 percent to 23 percent. Closing up the early voting doesn’t hurt Democrats – if anything, it hurts Republicans.
What other evil plans are Republicans cooking up? They want to bar ex-felons from the polls in Florida and Iowa, “disenfranchising thousands of previously eligible voters.” This is an odd criticism – who wants rapists and murderers voting, exactly? Actually, liberals do— so they can stack the rolls. Plus, if you need people to commit voter fraud, what better subsection to search than the ex-felons? The Miami Herald found that during the 2000 election, 452 votes were cast in Broward County by felons not allowed to vote; in 22 counties, 1,241 ballots were cast by felons who hadn’t received clemency, and 75% of those votes went Democrat.
Finally, says Berman, “six states controlled by Republican governors and legislators – Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin – will require voters to produce a government-issued ID before casting ballots.” Why is this a problem? If Berman’s statistics can be trusted, “More than 10 percent of US citizens lack such identification, and the numbers are even higher among constituencies that traditionally lean Democratic.” Why exactly would anyone of voting age lack a government ID? We’re all issued social security cards when we’re born. If we lose them, we can get them again. The real problem Democrats have here is that those least likely to have ID are illegal immigrants – and most of those illegal immigrants are only too happy to vote if paid for by Democratic operatives. That is just as true for various groups utilized by Democrats for multiple-voting schemes – if ID is not requested, one person could vote at many different voting places on behalf of people who don’t show up.
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