“To ask for a voter ID, and to ask for people who don’t have those things to pay to have that, is just another way of installing a poll tax. You still have to pay to vote,” says the Rev. Douglas Scott, executive director of Greater Birmingham Ministries, in an American Civil Liberties Union video explaining the dire effects of voter-suppression laws on communities of color in rural Alabama. It’s the first in a weeklong series responding to GOP-led efforts to place restrictions on voting.
From the ACLU’s voting-rights blog:
But the battle over whose voices may be heard continues to today, only more sophisticated in its obfuscation. Some may readily believe that everyone owns a government-issued picture ID or that you should expend the effort and resources to obtain one if you truly were interested in voting or cared about our country. Others may believe that limiting voting opportunities to a 12-hour window in the middle of a work week is not an imposition on this seminal right.
But make no mistake — those behind these regressive laws know what they’re doing; once you start digging even an inch beneath the surface, the suppressive effects of a purportedly innocuous law become breathtakingly clear. Voters throughout the country are forced to choose between putting food on the table and purchasing the “right” form of identification. A homeless man in Tennessee finally obtained his “free” photo ID, but only upon the intervention of a Congressional aide. As a result of these devastating laws, we are diminished as a nation and as people.
Read more at ACLU.