Suppressing the Vote and Keeping in Simple in Arkansas

imagesDallas         The Republican voter suppression efforts around the United States are such a yo-yo between legislatures, courts, and more courts that god only knows how much the voters in many of these states will be confused as they go to the polls in November or, as likely, as they stay home, which is what voter suppression is all about.

In Texas, voter identification will be required because the courts argue they don’t have time to really straighten it all out before November. This is the one where a hunting license can allow you to vote, but not a student ID, isn’t it? Although that could also be half a dozen other states.

North Carolina, a battleground state for control of the US Senate, is a mishmash. Some parts of their voter ID law are taking effect in 2014, but the picture ID requirement has been delayed until 2016, so look forward to more shenanigans there. Meanwhile the Justice Department has sued over the whole shebang being racial discrimination, but that won’t come to court until after the election.

Kansas under Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a world class immigrant hater and vote denier, and Governor Sam Brownback, now in a mess in this election, pushed through a tough ID policy already. There was an interesting challenge by two older voters who didn’t have records available to allow them to vote, but when it was scheduled for trial after the 2014 election they got out of the suit. There is still an ongoing dispute over whether the Kansas voter-hater laws can change the standards for federal elections. It’s pretty clear that as long as Kobach and his crew are in charge of voting in Kansas the best way for a lower income voter with a name that sounds different and a bit of a tan to have their vote counted would be to vote absentee in some other state, because if they keep trying to vote in Kansas, they’re going to be sucking air.

And, then with great relief there is Arkansas. The Arkansas Supreme Court tossed the controversial voter ID law passed over a veto by the Governor. The ruling was straightforward. The Arkansas state constitution was clear that there were only four things required to vote and was specific enough to list them. “The Constitution says that a voter must be a United States citizen, a resident of the state, at least 18 years old and lawfully registered to vote in the election. “These four qualifications set forth in our state’s Constitution simply do not include any proof-of-identity requirement,” the ruling said.”

You can see why ACORN always adopted as its own the Arkansas state motto: the people shall rule. It may have been written in Latin to look fancy, but we always understood what it meant, and it seems the judges there are still clear about its meaning as well, even if the voter suppressors wanted to try and pretend otherwise.

This election is going to be a fight all the way to the ballot box, way before the actual ballots are finally counted.


Please enjoy David Bowie’s Sue (or in A Season of Crime) and Smooth Me from New Orleans Suspects.  Thanks to Kabf.