October 23, 2018 12:01 PM CDT
WASHINGTON—The common characterization of “voter suppression,” the movement, undertaken by right-wing Republicans and underwritten by their corporate puppeteers, to prevent workers, women, minorities, the old and the young from voting, is that it exists in the South and it’s just so-called “voter ID” laws.
Voter suppression is as old as Jim Crow and exists everywhere from Washington to New York to Florida to Kentucky. And while African-Americans are a prime target, they’re not the only one. Arizona’s legislature, fearing voting by “ignorant Mexicans,” imposed an English literacy test — in 1909, three years before Arizona became a state. Things haven’t changed much since: The American Civil Liberties Union sued Arizona last month to prevent potential disenfranchisement of 500,000 voters.
But there are some common threads that run through all the methods used to prevent millions of people from voting around the country.
- The targets are the same and those pushing voter suppression are the same. Besides minorities, especially African-Americans, voter repressors want to toss women, workers, Native Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, the old and the young off the rolls.
Their objective: To remove enemies of their corporate, right-wing and in many cases racist agenda. The key drafter of voter suppression laws, which is just one component of their repressive program, is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the notoriously secretive corporate-political cabal.
Those voter ID and voter suppression laws curb early voting, eliminate Sunday voting, make it tough to register and stay registered and often impose onerous fees – such as getting birth certificates – on low-income voters, almost all minorities, who can’t afford them.