Fighting for Voters' Rights

Faith leaders have been critical of stricter voter laws enacted over the past few years by Republican-led state legislatures across the country. At the NAACP's annual convention on Monday, President and CEO Benjamin Jealous likened such efforts in states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas to "the greatest wave of legislative assault on the right to vote in more than a century," according to the The Houston Press. In this video filmed earlier this year, Odyssey Networks explores both sides of the controversy through the prism of a new voter law in Tennessee that faith leaders there fought.

The faith community in Chattanooga, Tennessee recently launched a local voter empowerment movement to inform all eligible voters of changes to the state's voter registration laws. The reforms, which went into effect in January, require voters possess a valid government-issued photo ID, and in some cases, proof of citizenship. The early voting period was also reduced in length. "The ministers are leading this fight, because there's been a lack of information," says the Rev. Kenneth Love. "And many times the only way that we can get this information to the people is through the clergy." The voting law changes are an effort to disenfranchise the poor, elderly, students and minority groups, according to the faith community. Secretary of State Tre Hargett counters that these are simply steps to combat widespread voter fraud.

Read more:

Pennsylvania Voter ID Case Opens in State Court - July 25, 2012 on The Washington Post

Source: Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law

radcedarpark
March 11th, 2012 02:08 am

Not that it will matter to your closed mind but all you have to do is Google "Voter Fraud Convictions" and read, and read and read. Here are just a few for you to dismiss or ignore:
Last month the Indiana Secretary of State was convicted of voter fraud and now a former West Virginia Sheriff just pleaded guilty to voter fraud a day or two ago. In November 2009, Democratic operative Anthony DeFiglio told New York State police investigators that faking absentee ballots was a commonplace and accepted practice in political circles, all intended to swing an election.
In Minnesota, as of August 10th, 2011, 113 individuals have been convicted for voter fraud committed in 2008. And the list goes on and on....
In many states it's illegal to leave your own house without a picture ID, so that if anything happens to incapacitate you, the authorities can identify you and notify your next of kin. Or if you're stopped by law enforcement or arrested, they know who you are, if you have any outstanding warrants, are wanted by the FBI, etc.
And it's not nearly as expensive for the poor to get a photo ID as it is to buy compact fluorescent light bulbs.
The only people a picture ID discriminates against is people who want to subvert the voting process.

Anonymous
March 06th, 2012 12:31 pm

Thank you to those who are helping others make sure they can vote. I wish those who say there is wide spread voter fraud had to prove there is wide spread fraud before changing the access to vote. How healthy is our democracy?

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