Someone has informed my aunt and other senior citizens that they can't use their drivers licensce for proper identification when they go to vote in November. I am checking this out , but I am still under the impression that she was given a bit of mis-information or someone is intentionally trying to mis-inform her and other senior citizens.
It would not be the first time that dirty tricks have been used to quell the African -American vote. I have some fellow African-Americans who don't bother to vote at times and who doesn't think that their one little vote matters.
That's exactly how it's intended to be...I listen to conservatives and their apologists swearing that this is for election intergrity. Funny how there was no cry of election intregrity in 2000 when they were busy stealing an election from Al Gore.
Your vote, yes...Your itty bitty vote counts...and someone somewhere is afraid of your itty bitty vote...That's why they are going to do everything possible to dissuade you from voting this November..
There is a history of these shenanigans...
In a nation such as this ,where little children are taught in grade school that every citizen has the right to vote, it would be comforting to think that the last vestiges of voter intimidation, oppression and suppression were swept away by the passage and subsequent enforcement of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965.
It would be good to know that voters are no longer turned away from the polls based on their race, never knowingly misdirected, misinformed, deceived or threatened. Unfortunately, it would be a grave mistake to believe it. In every national American election since Reconstruction, every election since the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, voters particularly African American voters and other minorities have faced calculated and determined efforts at intimidation and suppression.
The bloody days of violence and retribution following the Civil War and Reconstruction are gone. The poll taxes, literacy tests and physical violence of the Jim Crow era have disappeared. Today, more subtle, cynical and creative tactics have taken their place.
Here are a just few examples of recent incidents in which groups of voters have been singled out on the basis of race.
- Most recently, controversy has erupted over the use in the Orlando area of armed, plainclothes officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to question elderly black voters in their homes. The incidents were part of a state investigation of voting irregularities in the city's March 2003 mayoral election. Critics have charged that the tactics used by the FDLE have intimidated black voters, which could suppress their turnout in this year’s elections. Six members of Congress called on Former Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate potential civil rights violations in the matter.(Don't know if he did)
- This year in Florida, the state ordered the implementation of a “potential felon” purge list to remove voters from the rolls, in a disturbing echo of the infamous 2000 purge, which removed thousands of eligible voters, primarily African-Americans, from the rolls. The state abandoned the plan after news media investigations revealed that the 2004 list also included thousands of people who were eligible to vote, and heavily targeted African-Americans while virtually ignoring Hispanic voters.
- This summer, Michigan state Rep. John Pappageorge (R-Troy) was quoted in the Detroit Free Press as saying, “If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election.” African Americans comprise 83% of Detroit’s population. WHAT??? You can't get more blatant than that.
- In South Dakota’s June 2004 primary, Native American voters were prevented from voting after they were challenged to provide photo IDs, which they were not required to present under state or federal law.
- In Kentucky in July 2004, Black Republican officials joined to ask their State GOP party chairman to renounce plans to place “vote challengers” in African-American precincts during the coming elections.
- Earlier this year in Texas, a local district attorney claimed that students at a majority black college were not eligible to vote in the county where the school is located. It happened in Waller County the same county where 26 years earlier, a federal court order was required to prevent discrimination against the students.
- In 2003 in Philadelphia, voters in African American areas were systematically challenged by men carrying clipboards, driving a fleet of some 300 sedans with magnetic signs designed to look like law enforcement insignia. I wished...I wished that I had run into them...
- In 2002 in Louisiana, flyers were distributed in African American communities telling voters they could go to the polls on Tuesday, December 10th three days after a Senate runoff election was actually held.
- In 1998 in South Carolina, a state representative mailed 3,000 brochures to African American neighborhoods, claiming that law enforcement agents would be “working” the election, and warning voters that “this election is not worth going to jail.”
Tomorrow I'll discuss some more recent voter suppression strategies!
(To Be Continued...)