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Election Reform or Racism?

As expected, a lawsuit was files today challenging a new Georgia law designed to prevent voter fraud. At least, the state senators and representatives, joined by the state’s governor, alleged it was designed to prevent voter fraud. Jimmy Carter does not agree. "It was specifically designed to prevent old people, poor people and African-Americans from voting," he said. Carter and the usual motley crew were on the capital steps in Atlanta today to raise the banner of the oppressed. It wasn’t pretty. But Jimmy Carter and embarrassingly ignorant assertions have gone together like peaches and cream since about 1976. The law is being compared to a poll tax. Such demagoguery plays well up north, but it is pathetic to see that argument being made by people who should remember the crimes of Jim Crow. The article notes that there are twice as many registered drivers as there are registered voters in Georgia. Georgians, like Americans everywhere, have shown what is important to them. Voting laws are structured by those who give a rip.

Those intrepid individuals who actually do vote in Georgia give a rip, and the rip they currently are giving centers on shamefully loose voting procedures. There have been some shenanigans recently. Georgia would like to require voters to show a valid, government issued voter registration card when they go to the polls. Eligible citizens who were able to get themselves off the couch could get one (good for five years) at various government offices, much like drivers’ licensing. The $20 fee could be waived for the poor. The cost-benefit analysis is stark.

Cost: mild inconvenience for the small fraction of eligible voters who would have difficulty getting to an office or completing the paperwork.

Benefit: extreme tightening of voter tallies and decrease in opportunities for fraud.

Which is the fundamental principle of our republic? To have the apparatus of representative government brought to individuals on TV trays on the off chance that they might want to utilize it (after the Desperate Housewives rerun)? Or to ensure that the votes of those who were willing to participate are counted accurately and their collective will correctly implemented?

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 1, 2005 7:11 PM.

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