In an affront to democracy, the Republican Party has begun suppressing the number of Democratic voters via voter identification laws and the purging of voter registration lists in the name of eliminating voter fraud. Voter eligible citizens who lack a government issued photo ID most often are of the following demographics: low-income, minorities or the young, citizens who usually vote Democratic. What Republicans fail to articulate is that voter fraud is basically nonexistent, something like 0.00005 percent of the total votes cast over the past decade. Their true intent is to reduce the size of the opposition. Since 2001, almost one thousand new bills have been introduced in forty-six states that would strengthen voting laws. In the 2008 election, more than two million voters were unable to vote because they did not have the appropriate form of identification. In what seems an absurdity, Texas law allows voters to show their concealed handgun licenses as a proper form of identification but not a university issued ID.
With twenty-four states having recently passed or are considering new voter suppression laws, it is estimated that five million eligible citizens will be unable to vote this coming November. In a dead heat election, which the presidential race is shaping up to be, several thousand votes in one key state could decide the outcome. Just ask Florida Democrats. This attempt to eradicate the opposition was made perfectly clear when Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai boasted earlier this year to a Republican State Committee that his state’s new voter identification law, which has been estimated to eliminate up to ten percent of his state’s registered voters, “…is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania” this November 6th.
Isn’t it ironic that Republicans are so adamant about voters presenting proper ID to cast their ballot yet see nothing wrong with having million dollar campaign contributors influence the outcome of an entire election. Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who previously contributed tens of millions of dollars to Newt Gingrich’s fail presidential campaign, has pledged to contribute $100 million to the Mitt Romney campaign. Are we, the American public that gullible as to believe Adelson expects nothing in return? Despite millions of dollars in contributions from the uber- rich and corporations, the American public has no idea who they are since current law requires no posting of contributions until after the election, if at all.
Due to the 2010 United States Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which decreed the First Amendment to the Bill Of Rights prohibits our government from limiting how much corporations and unions can contribute to election campaigns, America no longer is a democracy, governed by we the people, but has now become a full-fledged plutocracy, governed by the wealthy elite, be they individual citizens or corporations. Money is not free speech. Money is influence!
Steven H. Spring