Bernie Sanders Nails Republican Lies About Voter ID Laws After Release Of GAO Report

bernie-sanders-3Something most liberals have known all along has basically been confirmed in a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report shows new voter ID laws that have been passed in a number of Republican-controlled states are making it more difficult for Americans to vote. Specifically those Americans who tend to vote for Democrats.

I know, you’re shocked.

Here’s part of the statement released by Senator Bernie Sanders’ office:

State laws that make voters show IDs at polling places have put a price on ballot access and eroded turnout – especially among African Americans, young people and recently-registered voters – a non-partisan congressional watchdog concluded.

The Government Accountability Office report also found scant evidence of voter fraud that the new laws that ostensibly are designed to discourage.

The report was requested by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). The senators asked the research arm of Congress to investigate what they called an “alarming number” of new state laws that make it “significantly harder” for millions of voters to cast ballots.

The report calculated the direct cost to would-be voters in the 17 states where voters must present a driver’s license or other state identification at polling places. The price for driver’s licenses ranges from $14.50 in Indiana to $58.50 in Rhode Island. The cost of getting a birth certificate needed to obtain a non-driver ID ranges from $7 in North Dakota to $25 in Georgia.

Focusing on two states with strict ID laws, Kansas and Tennessee, the GAO found greater falloffs in voter turnout in those states than in states without restrictive voting laws. The 2012 general election turnout compared to 2008 was as much as 3.2 percent less in Kansas and 2.2 percent less in Tennessee than in other states. The falloff was greatest among African-Americans, young people and newly-registered voters, the GAO said.

I highlighted the last two paragraphs because they’re particularly important. Republicans have seemingly found a way around illegal poll taxes by simply requiring people pay to have an ID before they’re allowed to vote. So, in reality, it’s just a roundabout way to levy a poll tax – without directly charging a poll tax.

Not only that, but these laws are lowering voter turnout. And like I’ve said beforeanyone who’s trying to make it harder for Americans to vote clearly has some kind of unethical ulterior motives. Especially when this study concluded that the people most adversely effected by these laws were African Americans, young people and newly registered voters. Otherwise known as voters who tend to vote for Democrats more than Republicans.

Again, I know you’re completely shocked. Republican legislatures passing strict voter ID laws that just happen to lower the voter turnout among demographics who vote for Democrats – no way! 

And, as most of you might expect, the Supreme Court keeps upholding these unconstitutional laws. But that’s what happens when the court is controlled by conservative justices.

This has to stop, because history is just repeating itself. Decades ago poll taxes were used to try to discourage people from voting (specifically African Americans). Now these “poll taxes” are being disguised under the pretense of “combating voter fraud” by requiring Americans to present an ID before they can vote. An ID that the vast majority of Americans would have to pay for in order to obtain.

So, if Americans can’t be forced to pay in order to exercise their right to vote, but an ID costs money, how is that not requiring Americans to pay a fee before they can vote?

I can’t emphasize this enough, liberals must get out to vote this November. I don’t care what hoops they try to make you jump through – vote. We cannot continue to allow Republicans to violate our Constitutional rights and rig our election process. Because if we don’t get out to vote, we’re just handing this country right over to them. And we damn sure can’t let that happen.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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