I wanted so much to join Rev. Al Sharpton and thousands of others who marched from Selma, Alabama to the State Capitol in Montgomery this past week. The idea that 32 States, including the State of Tennessee, have enacted Voter ID laws and discriminatory immigration laws flies against everything gained in the 1965 Voter Rights Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Alabama has enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws and anti–immigrate laws in America. People of color can and are stopped for proof of citizenship for no other reason other than the color of their skin. Many people in rural America, especially the elderly, do not have the now needed identification to even get the photo ID.
Here in Tennessee, an 87 year old woman who had never missed a vote was turned away from getting her Free State ID because she did not have a driver’s license or birth certificate. This is not uncommon. Many poor African-Americans from rural southern towns weren’t born in hospitals and never owned an automobile. The Brennan Center for Justice, estimates up to 5 million Americans will be disenfranchised by these restrictive voter suppression laws. When you did deep at the root issue of the why for such legislation, a reasonable person can conclude there must have been a voter fraud issue in the past that would generate such time and effort on the part of 32 States Legislatures.
But that was not the case. Minority voters turned out in record numbers in the 2008 election that is true but voter fraud was less than 0.0002% of all of the 2,921,498 votes cast in Minnesota. There were 7 cases of voter impersonation in all of Minnesota and not one conviction was had.
In the Citizens for Election Integrity study conducted by the State of Minnesota, Photo ID was proven to do nothing to stop voter fraud and only voter impersonation would be stopped by the law. The results of the study did not indicate a photo identification requirement would improve election integrity. This is the case in the other states that have enacted Voter ID Laws as well; the amount of voter fraud by individual voters is nil. In every instance of legitimate voter fraud, the fraud was perpetrated by election or state officials — not the general public as portrayed by the Republican-led state assemblies and senates.
The March to Montgomery II was not a symbolic gesture reminiscent of the Selma to Montgomery March led by Dr. King in 1964. No, this march was to show the world States like Alabama are walking on the Constitutional Rights of American citizens of all races and creeds.
Human Rights Watch reported the affects the Alabama Anti–Immigration Law has on families of immigrants and to US citizens. The denial of basic human rights threatens immigrants and limits access to everyday necessities and equal protection of the law the report revealed.
All Americans want to know the election process is as secure as our borders. There are other was to secure the vote of Americas citizens without disenfranchising 5 million people, and there are other ways to make sure our borders are secure without discriminating against all people of color.
Mike Scourby is pretty normal for a guy who grew up in Brooklyn. Well, it’s true, and that’s also the name of his blog. He’s a Yellow Dog Democrat currently living deep in a Red State but, as he told his kids, he’s moving back to Brooklyn at the first sign of a twang. Mike spends his time educating young minds to a Bluer state of mind.