Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Could Jesus Vote in 2012?

Many states have enacted a law to require a photo ID before you can vote. Republicans say a photo ID prevents voter fraud, but statistics show that voter fraud is almost nonexistent. The true purpose of a voter ID law is to disenfranchise the old, the poor and the disabled; all of whom would not vote as Republicans want.

Why do I believe this?

Because I was raised in Texas and remember the poll tax. My Yankee grandmother moved to Texas with my native Texan mother after WWII. My grandmother was shocked to discover she had to pay to vote. I can remember my mother explaining the pernicious nature of the poll tax. The poll tax was designed to keep the poor and especially African Americans from voting. The poll tax was successful.

The 24th amendment to the constitution of the United States was passed to end the poll tax. President Lyndon Johnson said, "There can be no one too poor to vote." Republicans want to put lie to that.

Now, to vote you will need a driver's license or state photo ID to vote. Proponents of the Voter ID law say that these ID's are now free.  These ID's are not available at the corner grocer.  You  must be able to go to your local driver's license office and wait a considerable length of time to have your photo taken for the ID.  If you are old, infirm or poor, especially if you don't have a car, this becomes a daunting task. Just as in the past, when the poll tax could only be purchased in the courthouse downtown, now the modern poll tax will be just as hard to access for the portion of the population that Republicans want to disenfranchise.

Photo by Dan Young Wausau Daily Herald
Many of the disenfranchised may lack the documentation necessary to get a photo ID.  In one Wisconsin case, an elderly woman who has voted for years and served in public office lacks the proper documentation and will have to go to court to get it at considerable cost.  My own paternal grandmother did not have a birth certificate because she was born on a farm in rural Wisconsin.

Jesus told us that "whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me".  When we deprive the poor, the disabled, the ex-convict ,the elderly of the right to vote, we deprive Jesus.  In 2012, could Jesus vote in your state?.

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