Sunday, November 06, 2011

Waking Up to the War on Voting

The so far successful legislative efforts in a number of states to limit voting rights had gone virtually unnoticed for months, except for a few voices, notably Rachel Maddow.  So it's fitting that her show be quoted announcing that Democrats are finally paying attention, and starting to do something about it.  (Note by the way in her script below the phrase "vote anyway.")

Dems in both the House and the Senate want to hold hearings.  But more substantively (from the Maddow transcript of Thursday): 

"Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison todayintroducing two new bills. One would allow you to register and then vote on the same day in federal elections. The other bill from Congressman Ellison would ban states from requiring you to show photo ID when you vote, since millions of eligiblevoters in the country do not have photo ID.

Also in the Obama re-election campaign, signs that they are taking seriously these Republican laws to make voting so much harder in 2012. The Wall Street Journal" reporting today that President Obama`s former White House counsel, a big powerful, big deal of a lawyer named Bob Bauer,is heading up efforts to battle back the Republicans on this with a multi-pronged effort that includes stopping these laws when they can be stopped and helping voters targeted by these laws figure out how to vote anyway though it has been made so much harder for them.

That the White House picked a lawyer like Bob Bauer shows that this drive to protect voting will not just be a matter of educating people about what ID they need and how to get it. The White House picking its own chief lawyer shows it is ready to bring serious legal muscle to this."

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