"I didn't know I was a slave until I found out I couldn't do the things I wanted." - Frederick Douglass
Sunday, August 2, 2015
CHE Sadaphal — The Black Libertarian Case Against Voter ID Laws
The libertarian physician and minister, in his latest article, "Voter ID: Bias or Necessity", ask this crucial question: are voter ID laws racially biased or completely benign and necessary for the enhancement of our democracy?
He writes: "On July 13th, a federal trial began in Winston-Salem over the 2013 North Carolina law (H.B. 589) that repealed a series of voting access measures—such as same-day voter registration, early voting, pre-registration for eligible high school students and out-of-precinct voting—that were enacted over the last two decades. The law also required a voter ID, or photographic identification, for everyone voting in person. As The New York Times recently reported:
Lawmakers claimed that H.B. 589, which was approved in a sneaky last-minute maneuver that insulated it from any real debate, would reduce fraud and inefficiency in elections. In truth, it is a pile of blatantly discriminatory measures that lawmakers knew would make voting harder, if not impossible, for many lower-income citizens — who are disproportionately black and Latino, and many of whom tend to vote Democratic. The election-law scholar Richard Hasen has called it “the most sweeping anti-voter law in at least decades.”"
Challengers of the law include the Justice Department, the NAACP and the League of Women Voters. The allegation is that the law discriminates against minority voters and therefore violates their constitutional rights. Specifically, the NAACP’s brief states that without the repeal of H.B. 589, the current voter ID law “will disproportionately injure African-American voters, who are less likely than other members of the electorate to possess the required forms of identification and also face disproportionately greater burdens in obtaining such identification.”
Perhaps. But then again, perhaps not. The allegation is that the voter ID law will disproportionately injure. The first question must therefore be: Have voter ID laws caused disproportionate harm in the past or in other instances?" Read the full article HERE.