GOP 'Turning the Clock Back to Days of Jim Crow'

Rep. Barbara Lee of California said that the new voter-ID laws would disproportionately disenfranchise communities of color.

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Rep. Barbara Lee (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

During a speech on the House floor, the Hill reports that Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) lashed out at Republican lawmakers for pushing for new voter-identification laws that would disenfranchise black voters.

“It’s no coincidence that a disproportionate number of these affected voters come from communities of color as well as the poor, the elderly and students, said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), a former chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Having been born and raised in Texas, this certainly looks like a poll tax to me, which those of us remember as a way to prevent African Americans from voting. These voter ID laws have a partisan agenda: seeking to disenfranchise and deny specific populations of voters before they have the opportunity to elect their representatives in government.

She also said the laws are meant to change election outcomes by turning the clock back to the days of Jim Crow.

Lee is the latest Democrat to charge that laws requiring people to show a valid ID to vote are aimed at suppressing the black vote to get better results for Republicans in the 2012 elections. Republicans including Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) have said ID laws are needed because there are several examples of voter fraud, such as the discovery that ACORN was registering non-legal voters.

... On Wednesday, Lee charged that the ID laws would prevent 1 in 4 blacks from voting, and 1 in 5 Hispanics and Asian Americans. She also said the laws are a return to the voter suppression that was seen in the controversial 2000 presidential election.

Lee and the other Democrats are right to push back against these restrictive laws. They are just another attempt by conservatives to kill democracy as we know it.

Read more at the Hill.

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