New Voting Laws Could Take Out Barack Obama This Fall

Around noon on a windy fall Sunday, the motorcade began forming. Dozens of African-Americans, ages 5 to 85, poured from the three-story New Covenant Baptist Church and into a coughing 20-year-old bus, a cramped church van, and their cars.

The caravan snaked down Rio Grande Avenue, turned onto Kaley Street, and passed beat-up buildings and old houses downtown. Ten minutes later, it stopped at the county election supervisor's office, where 150 church members filed inside to cast their ballots, all for Barack Obama.

"It was like a crusade," remembers Randolph Bracy, a charismatic, athletic 67-year-old minister. "There was great pride. We were going to vote for the first African-American president."

That was "Souls to the Polls" 2008 in Orlando. It can't happen this year.

It's illegal.

In a brazen attempt to steal this fall's election, Florida's Republican lawmakers have outlawed voting on Sunday, an African-American tradition. Indeed, across the United States, from Montana to Maine and Texas to Tennessee, 41 states have recently passed or introduced laws to restrict voter registration and early voting, and generally limit suffrage.

It's the greatest show of racially fueled political chicanery since turn-of-the-century laws banned scores of African-Americans from casting ballots. More than 5 million voters — largely minority — could be kept from the polls, according to New York University's Brennan Center for Justice.

"When Jim Crow was passed, [segregationists] said because of this plan, the darkie will be eliminated as a factor in elections in five years," says Benjamin Jealous, the NAACP's national president and CEO. "We beat that. But now these state governments are doing the same thing, disenfranchising entire blocks of black and Hispanic voters."

For decades, Southern states barred African-Americans from voting through white supremacist tricks such as literacy tests. That practice mostly ended in 1965, after America watched cops gassing and clubbing voting-rights demonstrators marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and Congress passed the Voting Rights Act. The law, said then-President Lyndon B. Johnson, was "a turning point in man's unending search for freedom."

In the years that followed, there were more attempts to cheat minorities at the polls. One was a law in many states that blocked felons from voting and made it difficult to get reinstated. Largely because of zero tolerance for drug crimes, this measure affected one in 12 black men.

A new scam started in Arizona in 2004, when voters approved a law to require not only an ID to cast a ballot but also proof of citizenship to register. The measure has been plodding through the courts ever since, and the citizenship provision was recently ditched. But one California federal judge who heard the case on appeal, Harry Pregerson, noted that "intimidation keeps Latino voters away from the polls."

In 2006, Missouri required voters to show a state or federal ID at the polls. It sounded logical. But supporters failed to emphasize that a quarter of blacks and almost as many Hispanics lack this documentation. "The absurdity of these rules was pretty clear," says Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. "A Supreme Court judge said he was old and had let his license expire. Could he vote? And we had a member of Congress who couldn't use his congressional ID to vote."

The Missouri Supreme Court threw out that measure, but two other states — Indiana and Georgia — passed their own ID requirements that the U.S. Supreme Court has since rubber-stamped.

Those earlier attacks pale in comparison to last year's blitzkrieg, when Republicans — who had taken control of 57 state House and Senate chambers in 2010 — began to contemplate this fall's presidential election. They had seen minority voters turn out en masse to vote for Obama, and were determined to turn the tide.

In just the past 18 months, 13 states have passed laws that require voters to show ID. In several of those locales, including Minnesota, the governor vetoed the bills, but most of the others will likely take effect before this fall's election.

In Texas, which is under federal scrutiny because of past attempts to dupe minorities, the U.S. Department of Justice blocked the measure. Twenty percent of that state's voters are Latino — and are far more likely to lack photo IDs, the feds found. The law, says Camila Gallardo, national spokesperson for the Latino rights organization La Raza, was "an affront to everyone. They are attacking the core of our democracy, which is open participation."

Gallardo was born in Santa Clara, California, to a Cuban-American family. She points out that her grandmother, who emigrated from the island long ago, never needed a driver's license or bothered with a passport but has been allowed to vote in that state because she is a citizen. California is one of the few states that have stayed clear of the great anti-minority backlash.

On the other side of the nation, however, Florida has moved to the top of the class when it comes to discrimination. Federal courts are considering the Republican leadership's attempts to not only outlaw Sunday voting but also severely limit voter registration.

The laws being challenged, for instance, require anyone who helps voters sign up with the state to submit all registration documents within 48 hours. Last week, a federal judge in Tallahassee blocked some parts of the law but let others — such as the prohibition on Sunday voting — stand. To date, the registration requirements have proven so difficult to meet that even groups such as the Boy Scouts of America have given up on registering voters this year.

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23 comments
deportillegalsnow
deportillegalsnow

Eric, really? Florida is taking out 150,000 voters who are dead, no longer residents, or are ILLEGAL - what could you find wrong with that? The only redeeming post in your post was hoping a 3rd party wins! Right now the two choices we have both suck! Ron Paul would have been my guy, but with any luck, Romney will pick Allen West for VP or even Ron Paul - thats the only redeeming thing so far...

deportillegalsnow
deportillegalsnow

As opposed to what Dennis? The Dems selling us to China and Mexico>? We are no longer a superpower - we are owned by the Communists...print money like water to support the burden of people here that shouldn't be so Dems can get votes...The two party system should be dismantled totally - and there should be term limits the way they were meant by our forefathers - a man would go into the government to represent his piece of the USA, serve his time, and go home - not cushion his coffers and have lifetime backbreaking benefits - serving themselves not their long suffering constituents...disgusting if you ask me...All "career politicians" are to blame for the way the world is because all they are in it for are themselves...They are crooks - all of them...the honest guys can't or won't run because they aren't backed by the right people or maybe have a skeleton in the closet - sad and pathetic - I hope the apocolypse comes soon!

deportillegalsnow
deportillegalsnow

Sorry "AMERICAN VOTER" illegal in disguise...it SHOULD be a law to read and write in ENGLISH and it should be our OFFICIAL LANGUAGE - however, our corrupted government voting system where he who has the most money wins panders to those that aren't even citizens if it helps them win - to the detriment of taxpaying US Citizens...

deportillegalsnow
deportillegalsnow

You know, I am looking at the bias even in the title of this article - NEW VOTING LAWS COULD TAKE OUT BARACK OBAMA THIS FALL - so it is all a scheme to not let BLACKS VOTE ON SUNDAYS - and that will be his downfall? Requiring ID's to vote might be since he is ramping up the illegals on the lifeboat, but he can't win on his record - is that what you are saying? But then, you are probably right....

deportillegalsnow
deportillegalsnow

The law can keep illegals from voting Edward - not ensuring only citizens are voting isn't fair to the taxpaying United States citizens - it's also not fair for someone to be peer pressured or bullied into voting for someone just because they are black, green, pink or purple...

deportillegalsnow
deportillegalsnow

This article IS TOTALLY BIASED AGREED...Only citizens are allowed to vote - everyone who can show proof of citizenship just needs to go down to their nearest drivers license office, and get a STATE ID if they don't drive - but you have to be a citizen - you need proof of identification if you cash a check, but not to perform one of the most important duties as a citizen? And shame that the churches only brought out people to vote because they were voting for a black man not because of his platform, etc, because "he is HALF one of them" . I believe that everyone should have to take a civics class to vote in addition to being a citizen - you should know what you are voting FOR...and WHY.... who gives a damn about his or her skin color - I am all for states enforcing their sovereignty against a federal government who doesn't seem to give a damn about the constitution and cares more about the rights of people that are here illegally and their feelings...not who pays their salaries - you and me the taxpayer - I commend all the states that have the balls to ensure that they have a clean election - look at all of the dead people and duplicates and non-residents on the books - you should be required to have an ID to vote at a minimum - and Mrs. S is right - car dealerships are closed on Sundays because it is the LORDS DAY - you aren't supposed to do business on sunday anyway - so why should polls be open - is that the only day they can bully and peer pressure people into voting for who the bishop or pastor wants? Do we really want illegals deciding our laws when they pay nothing into the system and drain it at every opportunity getting benefits that should only go to citizens? They are fleas on the ass of the system, and must be erradicated back to their homeland...with their anchor babies too - and no, I am not racist against any skin color - what part of illegal is racist? It is a crime...I don't care what color you are, I just care that you are here LEGALLY....and pay your own way...we have enough citizen drains on an overburdened system we sure as hell don't need more!

Mrs. S
Mrs. S

You write a very biased article. Nobody should be able to register others to vote, especially a teacher who be definition is in position to influence. Same thing with a writer who taints the story to support his opinion. Are you saying that by not allowing voting on Sundays, the African-American and Hispanic population can't vote? Your implication is prejudiced and absurd. You're grasping at straws here.

Dljfla
Dljfla

when i cash a check i have to show id but democrats say you should not need it to vote. florida is taking 200,000 non citizens off the roles boo hoo

Edward Herrera
Edward Herrera

Nobody can prevent people from voting,that is not fair.

American Voter
American Voter

There is no law stating one must learn to read and write in English. Additionally, as an American I must say your aggression towards dissent, is contrary to the principals of our Founding Fathers, and our American Revolution from the British Monarchy and their laws.

Bradley
Bradley

Spoken like a true "Progressive" socialist.

Bradley
Bradley

Lets see what is closed on Sundays: banks, gov't offices, Chick Fil-A, post offices, many corporations, most doctor's offices, dentists...I suppose they are all "racists" too. You true racists try to find racism in EVERY move Republicans make. They could pass a law banning chewing gum and you'd find a way to make it a race issue. If blacks or ANYONE else wants to vote they can do it along with everyone else...either early voting (except Sundays) or by mail or on ELECTION DAY which is NEVER a Sunday.

Jerry
Jerry

This is America, if you want to live here follow our laws, get an ID, register to vote and learn to read and write english, and pay taxes. Cut this BS about poor blacks and stop this race crap everytime something don't go there way.

Elliot James
Elliot James

We're just regressing in this country, not moving forward, and it looks like nothing can stop the trend.

james
james

why is it we are the only country that still segregates it citizens by color, I never hear black British, black French, as long as this crap continues we will always have a racial issue, you are either American, or nothing, if you feel so strong about you roots, go back where you came from.

dennis
dennis

Yes. And then we can suffer at the hands of yet another apocolyptic Republican adminstration. Four wonderful years of lying, cheating and stealing. Oh the memories of Mr. Bush. It's bad enough that we have to deal with the flippancy of a beligerant and ignorantly blind Republican Congress. Will the idiocy never end? Wake up "jet".

Zzipps
Zzipps

Chuck, What the Heck is wrong with you? The least that should be expected is for a person to show an ID and prove that he/she is a citizen!And as far as Sunday voting: The voters do not have to go vote on a specific Tuesday as before, now they can ask for an absentee ballot and vote a month before and at least in Florida there is early voting for 1 to 2 weeks prior to the election. What more you want? leave the polling stations open 24 hours?, send buses out to pick up anyone they find and bring them to vote, as long as they are going to vote for your candidate?No one is being "Disenfranchised" - (Nice meaningless word used when the voters are not voting your way). I am a minority and I think that all those options are "disenfranchising" the legal voters by allowing a great number of non-qualified (Fraudulent voters) voters to cast a ballot.

Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Next time they give you all that civic bullshiit about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full, free democratic election.

BadDude
BadDude

obama compare to jimmy carter Is time to vote for romney.

Harvey Lain
Harvey Lain

If you are not smart enough to have a picture State or Federal ID in this day and age, do you really need to be voting? There is no excuse that makes any sense. Why would Latinos be less likely to have these ID's unless they were illegal?

Maybe the fact that he has been the worst President ever will be the deciding factor to take out Obama.

The previous comment is typical of liberal idiots. "Insult" the Republicans with Obama just to frustrate them and to hell with the abysmal unemployment statistics.

randrand run
randrand run

IT REMAINS-NOTHING ECONOMICALLY HAS BEEN DONE-AND WE NEED TO TEST THE REPUBLICAN BELLIGERENCE ONE MORE TERM BY INSULTING THEM WITH OBAMA---NOT FOR OUR UNEMPLOYED SAKE'S---JUST TO FRUSTRATE THEM...!

Chuck Strouse
Chuck Strouse

Thing is, there was no fraud problem to solve. Moreover, all of this is a purely political effort by Republicans to minimize the minority vote, which will go larfgely for their opponents -- whether or not you are among them. Yes, there may be ways around these measures like absentee voting, but in the aggregate, it is nothing but a racist effort. Listen to a guy who made the martch from Selma to Montgomery: http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com...

 
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