Robert Brown, the Senate Minority Leader in Georgia, is not a stupid man. As such, I can only conclude he is a liar. See here.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 specifically outlawed tests and devices, such as poll taxes and literacy tests, which could arbitrarily be administered, ensuring that the registration process would be free from discriminatory barriers to registering to vote. Requiring additional, unpublicized forms of identification at the polling place in Georgia inevitably creates similar barriers and hurdles for African-Americans and other minority voters and will likely have a chilling effect on voter participation.
The Republicans’ voter suppression motive is clear. There are voters who simply do not have the limited forms of identification that Republicans are demanding. Requiring voters to purchase such identification is tantamount to requiring them to pay a poll tax. Forcing voters to pick up identification at the DVMS is burdensome on those who live in rural areas and have no form of transportation. The burden of these requirements will fall disproportionately and unfairly upon racial and ethnic minority voters, as well as voters with disabilities, since a disproportionate number have neither identification nor the financial means to access it.
Republican redistricting efforts similarly underscore the regression of voting rights in Georgia. Incredibly, not one African-American legislator or staff member was involved in the Republican redrawing of Georgia’s congressional districts. In fact, the maps were drawn in a dark room by Rep. Lynn Westmoreland’s staff in Washington, with no deliberation, no debate and absolutely no input beyond a small group of Republicans.
Due to their actions this session, Republicans have retarded their feeble efforts to establish a voting base within Georgia’s African-American and other minority communities. Any benefits that they may have gained by exploiting wedge social issues are burning in the flames of voter suppression.
First, voters will be told what identification is required. In fact, newspaper articles and racial demagoguery like this are the first steps in that education.
Second, voters will not have to pay for a photo id under SB 84; voters needing photo id to vote will be able to get a free id from the Georgia DMV.
Third, “[f]orcing voters to pick up identification at the DVMS is burdensome on those who live in rural areas and have no form of transportation” is a stupid argument designed to insight racial hatred against those intent on passing this bill. There is no one in this state who lacks transportation and I find it very hard to believe that there are as many black people in this state without drivers licenses as Senator Brown suggests — notice how Senator Brown plays the “we black folk are poor, too stupid to understand you need id to vote, and are too chicken to vote when whitey is around” card (Senator Brown is black). What a way to stereotype black voters, Senator. Perhaps if you weren’t too busy running porn kings for office because “it was your time”, you’d realize that pretty much everyone has a photo id or access to them.
Lastly, and Senator remember this one, because of people like you, most black voters are under the belief that Republicans are out to get them. For forty years you and your party have been keeping black voters in slums with bad schools and all the while you’ve been blaming whitey and the GOP.
Look around, Senator. The GOP, with very little help at all from black voters in Georgia, now controls the state. The GOP will use the majority to prove you wrong, prove we are here to help get black voters out of the slums you seem happy to keep them in, and you can take your race baiting demagoguery and shove it.
As an aside, let me just say this. I find it humorous, during election season, to go into black neighborhoods in my community and see signs that say things like “Keep the Dream Alive. Vote Democrat.”
The houses around these signs are falling down. Crime is rampant. The standard of living is abysmal. Literacy rates are pitiful. Unwed pregnancies are through the roof. In Georgia, until 2002, Democrats like Robert Brown were in charge of the state in its entirety. Bravo Senator — that sure is a dream worth fighting for. Way to ruin your own neighborhoods and keep the loca populace in fear of the evil Republicans at the same time.