On Thursday, a Minnesota House committee rejected a bill that would require voters to show a photo ID to get into their polling place. The bill was proposed by Represtentative Tom Emmer (R-Delano) and is similar to several conservative- backed proposed bills country-wide attempting to prevent voter fraud. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said that the law would likely disenfranchise voters as well as cost the state a good deal of money. In my eyes its as simple as this: this bill will likely affect the elderly and those with lower incomes and no ability or desire to acquire a driver’s license. These are the people more likely to vote Democratic (no matter how much the Republicans want to call themselves the party of the people) and therefore the loss of votes would actually improve Republican chances in the state.
As I’ve stated before, my coworkers like to listen to AM1500 during the day. I do my best to ignore it, but often I am flabbergasted at the things suggested by their radio personalities. The other day, Joe Soucheray was talking about voting in Minnesota having discussed the recount and the photo ID vote, and he said something that I believe says a lot about the channel and right-wingers. He suggested that as we continue to include more people in the vote (and in the context I can only assume this means immigrants and people of so called lower classes), the system is becoming cheapened. From my interpretation of Soucheray’s phrasing, it seems as if he feels voting should remain a relatively exclusive institution in this country. As if it should not be the right of every American to vote for the person they want to run their country. This is dangerous language, as is anything relating to taking rights away from people, and harkens back to the opinions of conservative white men when blacks and women were given the right to vote. But the difference is that the right is already there, the attempt is to snatch it away.
This sort of inequality seems to be a standard opinion across the board for right-wingers. There are movements now attempting to make English the official language of a handful of states, to make it genuinely harder for people who do not speak English to live in the United States. Is this a value this country was based upon? What ever happened to the term “melting pot?” The line is “liberty and justice for all,” not just for some. “That all men are created equal” does not only apply to rich, white men. We all come from different backgrounds here. Many of us caucasians have roots in Europe. We’re all immigrants, except for the Native Americans, who technically are the only people who belong here.
It frustrates me when people work so hard to take other people’s rights away. Especially when its just an attempt to recover a few more votes for the other side. This bill has absolutely nothing to do with voter fraud. Do not mistake that.