Less Democracy Is Wrong for Virginia
January 3, 2012
The Washington Times reports, "Virginia legislators are preparing to take on the thorny subject of voter identification laws during the upcoming General Assembly session amid national controversy that includes the Justice Department's rejection of a state law on the matter for the first time in almost 20 years... One bill from Sen. Stephen H. Martin would eliminate the state's voter registration card from the list of identification forms that voters can use at the polls. The bill also contains a measure mandating that voters who do not have proper identification cast provisional ballots."
Progressive Point: The new voting restrictions conservatives want to pass do one thing only--make it harder for regular Virginians to vote. The ability to choose our leaders is at the core of democracy. Conservatives and their corporate backers, like ALEC, are targeting Virginia's students, seniors, and minorities with these regulations to try to take away the constitutional right to vote.
Conservatives want to make voting harder for average Virginians because they are scared of facing voters honestly in the next election. Simply, right-wing lawmakers would rather take away people's right to vote than risk being voted against. But in Virginia, and across the country, less democracy is never the right answer, and its not the right answer now.
Get the Facts:
- A similiar voter ID law in South Carolina was recently rejected by the Department of Justice because they found that it would have made it harder for minorities to vote. (Washington Times, January 3, 2012)
- Conservatives in the Commonwealth have a history of trying to pass voter suppression legislation with the help of ALEC in Virginia but have previously been defeated in their attempts. (ProgressVA)
- "There is a concerted effort around the country to make it more difficult, for particularly young people and minorities, to vote... Virginia Republicans were pushing this issue well before Barack Obama came onto the scene. It just so happens that this year, if they're successful, it will make it easier for them to defeat Barack Obama." (Delegate David L. Englin Washington Times, January 3, 2012)