Requiring voter IDs sign of second-class citizenship
March 06, 2013 12:00 AM | 1076 views | 2 2 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

To quote Sunday’s Cherokee Tribune editorial: “Are Georgia and the other Deep South states the same segregated places they were a half century ago, places where racism was overt and ‘second-class citizenship’ was a tragic but basic fact of life for millions? Obviously not, and we’re all the better for it. A big reason — arguably the biggest, in fact — was the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“Yet even though those days are decades in the rear-view mirror, thankfully never to return, nine Southern states and parts of seven others must obtain preclearance from the U.S. Justice Department under Section 5 of that act for any and every election. That scrutiny was sorely needed back in the days of poll taxes and the like. But it’s not needed any longer.”

I disagree in light of Georgia’s legislative and executive decision to require photo identification at the polls. Back in the days of Max Cleland as Secretary of State, he found that whole cemeteries had voted in alphabetical order in a county or two.

He quietly put the ability to do that again to rest — without endangering the right to vote by the registered. He never again cited voter fraud.

But is that not the very reason the GOP-led Georgia Legislature saw fit to force registered voters who presented their birth certificates upon original registration in their county to now cough up a driver’s license or a state authorized ID to actually vote?

Where’s their proof of voter fraud? I haven’t heard them prove a single case. So isn’t this faux concern just prejudice raising its ugly head again?

It’s harder for the elderly who like to go to the polls, and minorities who can’t afford cars and use public transportation to need a driver’s license. And — oh — don’t most of these two groups traditionally vote for a Democrat? Isn’t that the GOP motivation? Is that a pervasive example of “second-class” citizenship?

I haven’t even brought up the subject of re-drawing political districts unconstitutionally. The Legislature — according to the US Constitution — is only supposed to redraw districts due to population shifts every 10 years after each national census.

So why has the GOP-led Legislature redrawn districts every two years since they took over the Legislature? My goodness, look what’s come of that — more GOP Congressmen — and GOP GA Legislators. Is that racist or just plain ugly politics?

Aren’t these good reasons to keep someone — besides the GOP reflective pool of voters — on watch over all our voting rights?

Diane Jarrett

Augusta

Comments
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Thomas Jefferson
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March 10, 2013
Uh, Diana, hello? If you have no ID you can cast a provisional ballot and it is then counted IF and only if you are a legitimate legal voter. Please do basic research next time. As far a second class citizenship goes, the democrat party has an organizational machine with no equal. If you wish to vote, they will get you to the polls. Or get you an absentee. Your argument is specious and vapid. And full of racial overtones. Please join the post-racial 21st century. Your shoulder will thank you once the chip is removed from it.
Frustrated In Canton
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March 09, 2013
Diane, please wake up and join the modern world. Everybody has to have a form of ID these days. You need it to buy beer or cigarettes. You need it to rent a hotel car or get a hotel room. You need it to get a refund at Best Buy, Home Depot and many other retailers.

The State of Georgia will give anyone a FREE State ID card. Over the 4 years between elections, I am sure someone can take you down to the DMV to get one.

And as far as second class citizens? Not making everybody play by the same rules is what creates that second class. Quit whining and be part of the solution to fair and honest voting.
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