In an op-ed posted today on the U.S. News & World Report website, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz argues that Republican-led voter ID laws infringe on Americans’ voting rights: “Americans’ most sacred right—the right at the core of our democracy—is the right to vote. That’s why, over the years, leaders of both parties have worked to make it easier for Americans to make their voices heard. Today, Americans can not only cast a ballot on Election Day, they can vote early or by mail—expansions that maintain the integrity of our democratic process while inviting more Americans to participate. But those voting rights are under attack. ”
In states across the country, Republicans are pushing laws to reduce early voting, place unnecessary strains on voter registration, and enact voter ID laws: “These kinds of laws have a detrimental impact on all Americans, but they particularly affect minorities. The nonpartisan, nonprofit Project Vote has found that African-Americans and Latinos are more likely than white voters to register through a voter registration drive. That means that in Florida, where the League of Women Voters has halted its voter registration activities as a result of the new Republican law, fewer minority Americans will have the chance to register and vote. Despite a complete lack of evidence of widespread voter fraud, Republicans have made it a priority to enact costly photo ID legislation that would restrict the voting rights of eligible Americans. In states like Wisconsin, Texas, and Kansas, Republican governors and legislators campaigned on small government and fiscal austerity, but now they are allocating millions of dollars for new photo ID requirements.”
Photo ID laws will end up costing states millions and will create lasting damage to our voting process: “Photo ID laws would disenfranchise voters and do nothing to improve the integrity of our electoral process. The national effort to restrict the right to vote has nothing to do with common sense; it is a callous political calculation designed to advantage Republicans in 2012. Rather than artificially slanting the electorate, it is time for Republicans to join the efforts of the president and the Democratic Party to create jobs, invest in our future, and address the challenges our nation faces. Maybe then the GOP wouldn’t have to work so hard to stop Americans from voting. ”
Read the full article on the U.S. News & World Report website.