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Voting law should apply nationwide
Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | November 15, 2005 | Jim Wooten

Posted on 11/15/2005 1:47:16 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

The question of how much longer a handful of states — most in the South, including Georgia — will be relegated to second-class status in our own country is pending before the U.S. Congress.

At issue is extension of expiring provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — specifically, Section 5, that 40 years later continues, without any basis whatsoever — to punish living Georgians for the sins of the dead.

The irony, in fact, is that not only are most of the offenders dead, but their party has been ousted from power and many of those who govern now either weren't old enough to vote or weren't living in this state four decades ago.

House Speaker Glenn Richardson (R-Hiram) was a 5-year-old when Democrats in one-party Georgia were denying blacks the right to vote. President Pro Tem Eric Johnson, 53, the state Senate's most powerful member, didn't even arrive in Georgia until he was 25 — a dozen years after the act was passed. Gov. Sonny Perdue, who is 58, was just old enough to vote.

Under the ostensibly temporary Section 5, due to expire in 2007, prior approval must be obtained from the U.S. Department of Justice for any change in voting standards, practices or procedures in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, Alaska and Arizona. A handful of counties and townships elsewhere are also covered.

It is a form of martial law selectively applied. And yet, the odds are strong that the U.S. Congress will extend pre-clearance requirement, even though the original justification is no longer valid.

Ronald Keith Gaddie, a professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma and author or co-author of eight books on American politics, is an expert on racial pattern voting in states covered by the Voting Rights Act. He and University of Georgia professor Charles S. Bullock III have done extensive research on changes in Southern states since the act's passage. Gaddie testified last month before a U.S. House committee examining renewal.

He noted that in the South today, "Children are more likely to attend integrated schools than in the rest of the country, and an African-American is more likely to have black representation . . . Southern blacks are registered and voting at rates comparable to black voters in the rest of the nation."

"Race still divides the South, but Southern blacks are not helpless in the pursuit of political, social, and economic goals when compared to five decades ago," Gaddie continued. "The context of race relations and the status of minorities in the South are dramatically changed from four decades ago."

Voter registration in the 2000 election, the last presidential race for which complete and accurate numbers are available, reveals blacks to be registered in higher percentages in most Southern states covered by the Voting Rights Act than in states outside the South. In Georgia, for example, black registration was 66.3 percent, compared to 61.7 percent outside the South. White registration was 59.3 in Georgia and 65.9 outside the South.

In 2000 and in 2004, presidential years, black turnout was higher than among whites. In 2002, white turnout was higher.

The point is, however, that the original case for seizing the right of Georgia's elected officials to draw districts and to conduct elections is no longer valid. Now it is rank discrimination, without rational basis.

Johnson, the state Senate leader, is among those who believes that the pre-clearance provision should apply to every state — or none. "It's geographic discrimination," he says, in that it applies to Georgia and not to places with more current voting problems.

He believes, though, that Congress lacks the will to do what's right, and either to extend Section 5 to the rest of the nation or to allow it to expire. "If we can't summon the will to drill on 2,000 acres in ANWR, they don't have the courage to let provisions of the Voting Rights Act expire," he said. (Two thousand acres in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the equivalent, the Wall Street Journal reports, of one letter of the alphabet on this entire page).

Emotions will drive extension. The facts won't.

Georgia, "the fastest-growing of the original Section 5 states offers real evidence of voting rights progress in the last decade," Gaddie testified. Blacks run as well or better than whites statewide. Its congressional delegation has the highest percentage of blacks of any state in the nation. "At the highest levels of government, Georgia has accomplished more than any other state covered by Section 5."

Facts should set us free. But don't count on it.

— Jim Wooten is associate editorial page editor. His column appears Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Alabama; US: Alaska; US: Arizona; US: Georgia; US: Louisiana; US: Mississippi; US: South Carolina
KEYWORDS: districts; elections; redistricting; votingrights
***....Under the ostensibly temporary Section 5, due to expire in 2007, prior approval must be obtained from the U.S. Department of Justice for any change in voting standards, practices or procedures in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, Alaska and Arizona. A handful of counties and townships elsewhere are also covered.

It is a form of martial law selectively applied. And yet, the odds are strong that the U.S. Congress will extend pre-clearance requirement, even though the original justification is no longer valid.

The point is, however, that the original case for seizing the right of Georgia's elected officials to draw districts and to conduct elections is no longer valid. Now it is rank discrimination, without rational basis.....***

1 posted on 11/15/2005 1:47:17 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Ping


2 posted on 11/15/2005 2:00:46 AM PST by sabatino28 (God save us all!!!)
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To: sabatino28
Given Georgia's recent attempt to pass a law requiring voter IDs for those without a drivers license, and the fact that these IDs were to be moderately expensive (esp for low income persons) and that there were coincidentally only a few locations where they could be obtained in GA (not helpful if they are for ppl w/o a drivers license), I am all in favor of keeping the law as it is. I am no raving liberal but that was a blatant attempt to establish a poll tax and disenfranchise an entire segment of the population that would likely vote for the dems. It was denounced by both liberals and conservatives (thank God) across the country and rightfully so. Fortunately the courts are in the process of killing it. Sorry my heart does not bleed for Georgia.
3 posted on 11/15/2005 2:24:04 AM PST by jec1ny (Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domine Qui fecit caelum et terram.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

If this is needed anywhere, it is in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Chicago (Daly machine), California (illegal alien vote), NYC, and Louisiana (especially after Katrina).


4 posted on 11/15/2005 2:26:25 AM PST by topher (Please let Old-Fashioned moral values return to the United States!)
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To: jec1ny
Excuse me.

Voter ID would be available for all. Give me a break. How many people don't have a picture ID? I think there are about 17 different forms of ID that are eligible.
5 posted on 11/15/2005 2:41:02 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"Gov. Sonny Perdue, who is 58, was just old enough to vote."

Hmmm. I happen to be 58 as well and I couldn't vote until I was 21, which would have been 1968. No wonder Georgia needs a little extra help. ";^o

6 posted on 11/15/2005 2:54:18 AM PST by Past Your Eyes (Hey, getta your tootsi frootsi ice cream.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Since Bush senior left office, I have noticed that no precinct asks for photo ID... coincidence? In Kalifornia, before I left, I pulled out my DL and the ol'bats there were angry with me! They said it was "unnecessary." Go figure... I hope it is law someday, again, and don't give me that it will disinfranchise poor voters who can't afford an ID... I mean, how do you get state and federal assistance without it?


7 posted on 11/15/2005 3:07:27 AM PST by Terridan (God help us send these Islamic Extremist savages back into Hell where they belong...)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Democrats in one-party Georgia were denying blacks the right to vote.

Startling admission from the AJC.

I'm surprised it wasn't stated in the more PC way or at least a disclaimer that all those evil democrats voters are now republicans

8 posted on 11/15/2005 3:18:23 AM PST by Popman (In politics, ideas are more important than individuals.)
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To: jec1ny

Disenfranchisement? You have got to be kidding me. An ID is required for everything from bank transactions to buying liquor. It is not unreasonable to expect people to have a state id at least. Especially when they will come to your house and give you one for free.


9 posted on 11/15/2005 3:55:47 AM PST by HelloooClareece (Anagram of New York Times....... Monkeys Write. (I Still have a water bucket))
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To: Terridan

Exactly!


10 posted on 11/15/2005 4:05:46 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Popman

Jim Wooten is a conservative columnist at the AJC.

That means, he has his head on straight.


11 posted on 11/15/2005 4:06:38 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: jec1ny
I see you get your information from "The Nation".

Of course, you are wrong on all counts. Did you sign up from DU just today???

12 posted on 11/15/2005 4:39:13 AM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: jec1ny
Nice try, but very wrong. The voter ID would be free to those who can't afford it, and they would come to you if you can't get to them.

"Poll tax" is the DNC talking point tip-off that you're just spreading rumor and innuendo, without knowing the facts.

13 posted on 11/15/2005 4:43:47 AM PST by kevkrom (Thank you... I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress. (And try the veal!))
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To: jec1ny
"Given Georgia's recent attempt to pass a law requiring voter IDs for those without a drivers license, and the fact that these IDs were to be moderately expensive (esp for low income persons) ......"

----------------------------------------------------------

These aren't the facts I understand...what I've heard is that they will come to the peoples home and issue a NO COST id....even if folks have to go a couple blocks to register it's still supposed to be a free ID...

I didn't know anything about the voters rights law..but seeing it only applies to a handful of states it appears to based more on emotion now in the 21st century than fact.

Being against an ID being required to perform as serious a right as voting for the nations leadership is asking for fraud...Picture ID is required to cash a $10 check for Pete's Sake.

14 posted on 11/15/2005 4:48:11 AM PST by conservativehusker (GO BIG RED!!!!)
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To: conservativehusker

Georgia, the "repressive" state was the first in the country to give 18 year olds the right to vote during WW2 and one of only four to do so until the mid 1960s.

The IDs would be free to anyone requesting one. Currently there are 17 forms of Id accepted for voting in GA and the new law would narrow that to 6.

You have to have a photo id to drive, cash a check, get on a plane, most everything. Is voting not so important as those????

If the Voting Rights Act is good enough for GA and the deep South, its good enough for the whole country.


15 posted on 11/15/2005 4:57:40 AM PST by armydawg1 (" America must win this war..." PVT Martin Treptow, KIA, WW1)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"Gov. Sonny Perdue, who is 58, was just old enough to vote." Actually he would have only been 18yo at the time, not even old enough to vote in 1965 (you had to be 21).
16 posted on 11/15/2005 5:02:04 AM PST by DaiHuy (Oderint dum metuant)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"Gov. Sonny Perdue, who is 58, was just old enough to vote."

Actually he would have only been 18yo at the time, not even old enough to vote in 1965 (you had to be 21).

17 posted on 11/15/2005 5:02:43 AM PST by DaiHuy (Oderint dum metuant)
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To: DaiHuy; Past Your Eyes
Amendment XXVI (1971)

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


18 posted on 11/15/2005 5:32:45 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters but PR.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I remember ten years or so that the Federal Supreme Court declared politcal districts designed to give one race a advantage over another to be Unconstitutional.

This dealt with the district that supported blacks in Georgia that ran up the Northeast side of the side. The district was broken up.

19 posted on 11/15/2005 5:36:20 AM PST by Paul C. Jesup
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To: jec1ny
"that was a blatant attempt to establish a poll tax and disenfranchise an entire segment of the population that would likely vote for the dems."

It was no such thing.

It was a blatant attempt to prevent non-citizens from voting and to prevent other forms of illegal voting, e.g. voting multiple times by the same person, voting for dead and fictitious people, et al.

But you are right in that illegal voting practices favor the Democrats, such is the extent of their corruption, and preventing them is not in the interest of Democrats.

That's why the Democrats were so strongly opposed to this legal provision, which is--in fact--a wise safeguard against government corruption, sedition, and an assault on the voting process by enemies of the U.S., both domestic and foreign.

Considering the importance of the vote to a republic, protection of its sanctity by careful assurance of the right of an individual to vote could not be more important--both to protect the right of a citizen to vote and to prevent illegal voting.

20 posted on 11/15/2005 5:46:16 AM PST by Savage Beast (Tragedy is the heavy cost of hubris and denial.)
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To: jec1ny
All this is clear and obvious, but, typically, the Left--and especially Democrats--muddle the clarity and distort the logic in order to serve their interests. This is their usual modus operandi.

If voter identification favored Democrat politicians, they would be all for it--no matter whom it disenfranchised.

21 posted on 11/15/2005 5:51:56 AM PST by Savage Beast (Tragedy is the heavy cost of hubris and denial.)
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To: jec1ny

Your entire paragraph is false. The voter ID law provided, FREE OF CHARGE, for anyone who couldn't afford to pay for it. Additionally, the government would come to your home and provide the ID if you couldn't get to one of the centers.

It was not a poll tax, it was designed to prevent voter fraud, something the demonRATs thrive upon. Get your facts straight before you try to defend the left's position, and pretend that it's all in the name of fairness. Bullship.


22 posted on 11/15/2005 6:40:32 AM PST by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages - In Honor of Standing Wolf)
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To: USS Alaska

It didn't take long to smoke out this lefty loon. I thought I'd be the first to respond to this du lurker, but by the time I posted about 20 Freepers had already responded to the obvious lies and distortions. The ny city jerk won't be able to respond with any facts, so watch for a diatribe or maybe he'll just disappear under the pond scum.


23 posted on 11/15/2005 6:47:26 AM PST by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages - In Honor of Standing Wolf)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

Yeah, I remember when that amendment was passed (sort of, the date escaped me.) I was in Viet Nam at the time. Thanks for posting that, it was a really big deal for us, I got to cast my first vote, for Richard Milhouse Nixon. But alas I was 21 by the time it affected me. Still it was a great thing to be able to vote.


24 posted on 11/15/2005 7:04:49 AM PST by DaiHuy (Oderint dum metuant)
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To: Past Your Eyes
Hmmm. I happen to be 58 as well and I couldn't vote until I was 21, which would have been 1968. No wonder Georgia needs a little extra help. ";^o

Ahh, but Georgia has allowed 18 year olds to vote since 1943. So, you and he were 18 in 1965.

25 posted on 11/15/2005 8:49:41 AM PST by mwyounce
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To: mwyounce

I'm not from Missouri but I sure would like for you to "show me" that someone less than 21 years of age could vote in a national election prior to 1971.


26 posted on 11/15/2005 12:07:09 PM PST by Past Your Eyes (Hey, getta your tootsi frootsi ice cream.)
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To: Past Your Eyes

No one said "federal" elections. Here's proof for state and local elections:

http://www.abanet.org/publiced/lawday/convo/00/citizenship.html

Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Vote: Some History
“Old enough to fight, old enough to vote,” was a slogan that was first heard after the United States entered World War II in 1941. Georgia led the way in 1943, by lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 in state and local elections. Millions of men and women too young to vote were asked to serve in that war. Many people, regardless of age, thought it was unfair. However, it wasn’t until the U.S. was involved in the Vietnam War, thirty years later, that the movement to give eighteen-year-olds the right to vote gained strength.


27 posted on 11/15/2005 12:27:39 PM PST by mwyounce
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To: mwyounce

Oops, I should've said:

No one said "national" elections.


28 posted on 11/15/2005 12:28:58 PM PST by mwyounce
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; HelloooClareece; USS Alaska; Savage Beast; conservativehusker
Heh. No major surprises here. Lots of hot air and the usual FR invective. OK lets take this point by point.

1. The law does indeed allow for those who are indigent to get their IDs for free. But it fails to define what indigent is.

2. The law assesses criminal penalties on anyone falsely claiming to be indigent.

3. In the entire state of GA there were at the time the law was signed supposed to be 58 places to go to get one of these special IDs. NONT ONE was located in Atlanta!!!

4. In theory (LMAO) the state would send someone to your home to provide you with an ID at no cost if you could prove you were indigent(what is that?). Exactly how many people does the state of GA have on the payrolls to actually do this for the roughly million or so people who would qualify state wide (by conservative estimates. The dems not surprisingly quote a much higher number). And all this would of course have to be done before the election to avoid disenfranchising large numbers of people.

5. The 24th ammnd says "Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

6. I am a strict constructionist. This means that if you are going to mandate some form of ID (which is perfectly reasonable and I support) you CAN NOT charge for it period. I don't care if your Bill Gates and you decide not to bother with a drivers license because you have a 24 hr limo. No one can charge any kind of fee for voting. If you are going to offer or require a voter ID it must be free to all irrespective of their financial status. States can choose to accept IDs which are used for other purposes (and for which they can reasonably charge a fee) such as drivers licenses. But they can not actually charge anyone a dime for the right to vote.

7. Both the district Federal Courts and the United States Court of Appeals has ruled against this law. The Court of Appeals that covers Georgia is also one of the most conservative in the country.
29 posted on 11/15/2005 1:33:01 PM PST by jec1ny (Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domine Qui fecit caelum et terram.)
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To: USS Alaska
Sorry I did not post my reply in a manner that was as timely as you obviously would have liked. But I posted my note late last night. And I actually work for a living which means I don't have the luxury of sitting around all day and monitoring FR to see who is posting messages to me etc.
30 posted on 11/15/2005 1:45:58 PM PST by jec1ny (Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domine Qui fecit caelum et terram.)
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To: jec1ny
You have not refuted anything that I said in posts # 20 and 21.

If the law was written in such a way as to allow injustice, it should be re-written so as not to allow it, but, especially in these dangereous times, when international terrorists have declared war on the United States, when the U.S. has been flooded with illegal immigrants, when the veracity of the "Mainstream Newsmedia" cannot be trusted, and corruption is rife in the Democrat Party, a law such as this, to protect the sanctity of the vote, is very much needed.

Refute this:

"Considering the importance of the vote to a republic, protection of its sanctity by careful assurance of the right of an individual to vote could not be more important--both to protect the right of a citizen to vote and to prevent illegal voting."
The protection of the sanctity of the vote is the reason the law was written--not as you allege, to establish a deterrent to citizens' voting or to disenfranchise any legal voter.
31 posted on 11/15/2005 2:28:45 PM PST by Savage Beast ("Oprah: The light that shines so gently on those who need it most." ~Sidney Poitier)
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To: Savage Beast
Your argument is patently absurd. Similar arguments were made in the courts and dismissed (laughed out of the court would be more accurate). There is no evidence of any significant voter fraud. And the idea that terrorists could undermine our elections by slipping into a voting booth is laughable. They would have to be tens of thousands to have an impact on anything other then local elections. I would rather suggest that it is you who have ignored all of the points I made in my post. Even if your arguments held water (which they do not) there is no getting around the 24th amendment. Its language is crystal clear. You CAN NOT CHARGE for the right to vote. The law was constitutionally a dead letter from the word go. I am not against IDs. Thats a great idea. But they have to be available to people in reality and not just theory and you can not charge for them. Not one dime.
32 posted on 11/15/2005 3:09:30 PM PST by jec1ny (Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domine Qui fecit caelum et terram.)
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