Holder strikes back against Texas voting laws
I am very pleased that Attorney General Eric Holder has decided to take action against the discriminatory voting laws and unfair redistricting lines drawn by Texas lawmakers. I find it hypocritical that conservative lawmakers decry government action upon the states while continuing to enact laws and policies that discriminate against large sectors of the population. It is unconscionable that in the U.S. we have a political party that is actively and not so quietly trying to lessen the output of a large segment of voters.
The red states, if they were dealing in reality, would not have to worry about voter fraud since all data shows that for the most part voter fraud does not exist. The amount of voter fraud is so low that it is hardly even noticed. Widespread voter fraud does not exist but conservative lawmakers need to keep stirring up fear among their white supporters by pointing to unproven claims about certain groups supposedly registering names multiple times or even fake names or claiming that voter lists are being thrown out. Ironically, several voting fraud cases have come forward documenting how some conservative groups have tossed out lists of voters or other suppressive means.
The only solution I see to this problem is a national set of voting rights standards. Some of these would include: national hours, number of polling stations per precinct, acceptable forms of ID, a set of early voting days and registration availability. Without national standards, states that aren’t as willing and open to as much voting as possible will continue to try and limit voting as much as legally possible while trying to maximize the influence of GOP voters.
There is a reason why mostly southern states are the ones under scrutiny by the government. No other region of the country has had as much disturbing history when it comes to voting rights. The Voting Rights Act was necessary because white legislators were enacting barriers to voting for minority and other non-white communities. Today, while the Jim Crow days are gone, there are still efforts at voter suppression that are not as infamous as the days of the pre-Civil Rights Movement. There may be no more poll tests or poll taxes but that does not mean that voting rights are no longer under threat by the Republican Party of today.
Also, by continuing to create ultra safe white districts for white lawmakers, the Republican Party is seeking to continue the dominance of white men in the southern United States. Districts are being drawn up either to minimize or completely eliminate minority voices in state governments. These districts do nothing to help the Republican Party modernize itself because these committed conservative and very extreme voters will not allow legislators to deviate from very far right positions and will prevent government from operating in the ways that it is designed to. Have you wondered why the GOP of today refuses to believe in climate change, infrastructure investment, national health care, stem cell research, modern and common sense economic reforms, and many other forward thinking policies? They are dominated by a base and financial support system of big corporations that do not have a financial interest in changing the status quo as well as a voter base that is more than happy to criticize government while reaping all of the benefits that government provides in terms of Social Security, Medicare, public investments in infrastructure, as well as energy investments that lower the cost for everybody. Conservatives hate the idea of big government but secretly want all of its benefits.