Laws Restricting Right to Vote

The latest tactic by right-wing zealots is to change voter laws to make it harder not only to register to vote, but to vote itself, by passing so-called ‘voter ID’ laws that make it difficult for those who don’t have a driver’s license to not only get a valid picture ID, but also to get one so that they can register to vote.

Ostensibly, proponents claim they are doing this to prevent voter fraud. But, voter fraud is something that almost never happens and in most of the states that are passing these heinous laws voter fraud has never been a problem. Proponents again claim it is a pre-emptive strike to prevent something that might happen in the future. Call it what it is – a way to mask the real reason for the law to keep students and the poor and disadvantaged from voting.

Why? Because those groups tend to vote Democratic and in the states where the laws are being passed the Republicans control the legislatures and they want to ensure their re-election. It is what it is. Passing laws that are bigoted and racist in nature.

In the good ole days, the Republicans keep wanting us to return to they were called ‘Jim Crow Laws’. They were designed specifically to prevent African Americans and other minorities from voting. They restricted a person’ right to vote by requiring them to pay a poll tax, which they knew that most African Americans could not pay, nor could most people who lived in poverty. Feeding their families came first, all else was secondary.

Voting is the most basic right that we as Americans have. It is the basis from which all else springs. When a state or a nation begins to restrict a citizen’s right to vote that is when that state or nation begins to deny democracy. Democracy is for all of our citizens and the right to vote is guaranteed in the Constitution. The Constitution those on the right make so much about, as long as it suits their purpose.

My great-grandfather Andrew Jackson Everist once said about the poll tax. “I fought a war to put an end to keeping people away from the voting booth. The poll tax is just another wrong that must be righted if we are to realize that this country is as Abraham Lincoln said it was, “Of the people, for the people and by the people!”

Regressive laws that restrict a citizen’s right to vote are wrong. They are mean-spirited, bigoted and racist in ideology and nature and must not be allowed to stand! Freedom is not just another word for nothing left to lose. It means something and we as Americans must say no to those who would take away our freedoms and our rights. The right to vote is the most precious right we have! And we should never stand idly by and allow it to be taken away from any of our citizens!” —– Bob Bearden


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