The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 19, 2013

Other Views: Making voting difficult

— Congress clearly has seen the need for the 1965 Voting Rights Act that guarantees all Americans access to the ballot box. In 2006, it extended the law for another 25 years, with the Senate voting 98-0 and the House 390-93.

But in June, the John Roberts Supreme Court decided 5-4 that the bad old days of voter intimidation were a thing of the past. It lifted the need for federal preclearance to change voting laws, a condition in 15 jurisdictions, most of them Southern states.

It took barely a week for North Carolina’s Republican-dominated Legislature to prove them wrong. The lawmakers proved that voter suppression, once accomplished by beatings, fire bombings and job loss, hasn’t gone away. It has become more sophisticated.

Voters now must present state-issued photo IDs. Only four forms are considered valid — driver’s licenses, passports, veteran’s IDs and tribal membership cards — obtained or updated at least 25 days ahead of the election.

The lawmakers also ended a voter-registration program for high school seniors about to turn 18 — and these are their own kids.

Thus the Legislature cut down the number of likely voters among students, young people, public employees and the poor. By one measure, 318,000 voters from 2012 now lack the proper ID.

The Legislature also eliminated same-day registration, cut a week off the window for early voting and eliminated straight-ticket voting.

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory defended the law: “Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote.”

Buying nasal congestion medicine is not a constitutional right. Voting is, and as with any right, it should be extended to as many citizens as possible.

The irony is that the voter ID law attacks a problem — voter fraud — that doesn’t really exist. Of the 6,947,317 ballots cast last year in North Carolina, only 121 were reported to the state board of elections. The Associated Press says only a “handful” of in-person voter fraud cases have been prosecuted in the last decade.

However, there will be legal bills. The ACLU and the NAACP, among other groups, immediately announced court challenges to the new law. Drafters of the 1965 federal law surely didn’t have North Carolina specifically in mind, but they were certainly prescient in foreseeing states’ attempts to disenfranchise voters, mostly minorities, “through unremitting and ingenious defiance of the Constitution.”

— Scripps Howard News Service

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Too many questions on No. 5

    Even though the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” Missouri voters on Aug. 5 are being asked to consider an amendment that restates that freedom and then goes even further.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Beware the wolf

    The wolf (the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other radical animal rights organizations) has conned Little Red Riding Hood (the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, The Joplin Globe editorial staff and, as of last week, the local Democratic leadership).

    July 31, 2014

  • Your View: Dally for Division 5

    I have known Nate Dally almost my entire life. As we grew up, Nate always had a strong passion and desire to make sure everyone was treated fairly and equally.

    July 31, 2014

  • Your View: Vote ‘no’ on 7

    The Globe has been on my reading list for over 35 years, and during that time the Globe has frequently supported tax increases. Same thing again in the Sunday, July 27, editorial, “‘Yes’ on 7.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: An America transformed

    On Oct. 30, 2008, Barack Obama boldly declared: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

    July 30, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: Open the primaries

    Missourians will go to the polls in the Aug. 5 primary.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: ‘Right to Farm’ is wrong

    On Aug. 5, voters will be asked to make a decision about Amendment 1.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: No on Amendment 7

    The Missouri Department of Transportation is wanting more money through a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax. Consider one example of how it spends your money.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: Bad way to get revenue

    I received two fliers through the mail today asking me to vote “yes” on Amendment 7, which would add a three-quarter-cent tax to Missouri’s sales tax to help maintain roads and bridges.

    July 29, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: No need for No. 9

    “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Missouri's sales tax-free weekend begins Friday. Do you plan purchases around this weekend?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Sports