In case you haven’t heard yet, many conservative-leaning state legislatures are doing whatever they can to disenfranchise as many citizens as possible from voting in the upcoming 2012 Presidential elections. In their effort to prevent Obama from being a two-term president, they have resorted to passing all types of new laws that tweak the election system for the solitary purpose of political gain. If you’re like me, you probably believe that Democracy is about the process of fair elections and not just the outcomes. If you’re a Republican governor or legislator, there’s a good chance that you recognize democratic elections as only a means to an end.
Take for instance Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. These five states have passed strict Voter ID laws in 2011 that make it necessary for registered voters to bring a government issued photo ID with them to vote. This unquestionably disenfranchises many poor minority voters who lack any form of government ID, mainly because they don’t own an automobile and have no need for a state-issued driver’s license. These laws also make it increasingly tricky for young college students to vote. For example, “the new voter ID law in Wisconsin require the ID to show an address that matches their voting precinct when many students will have an ID that comes from their hometown.”
The headlines these days have been going to the Electoral College alterations that GOP-controlled Pennsylvania and Nebraska are set to implement ahead of the 2012 Presidential election. In Nebraska, the state Republican Party is threatening to disown any state senator “who fails to support legislation returning Nebraska to a winner-take-all presidential electoral vote system.” In Pennsylvania, the State GOP wants to do the exact opposite by breaking up the “winner-take-all” system so that Obama will not get all 20 Pennsylvania Electoral College votes if he wins the state.
It’s easy to see that the libertarian-fueled “Tea Party” sweep of local, state, and federal governments during the 2010 mid-term elections has produced large, centralized, and imposing Republican machinery that’s intent on changing the election structure for 2012 so that it disfavors Democratic voters and candidates. Somehow, I don’t think that this strong-armed and calculated march for one party rule is going to save us from Big Government.
Note: This post was edited at 1:22pm.