I wrote the other day about how the new voter ID law in Texas will disenfranchise over a million voters, many of whom are women.  Well, the law went into effect just in time for early voting for the upcoming November 5th elections.  And, as predicted, citizens are already having problems.  A Texas District Judge said she

was flagged for possible voter fraud because her driver’s license lists her maiden name as her middle name, while her voter registration form has her real middle name. This was the first time she has ever had a problem voting in 49 years.

You probably won’t hear about this on the news very much because they’d rather cover the circus in Washington, D.C. While I’ll admit that clowns are distracting, they’re not quite as important as the death rattle of voting rights.

Voter ID laws are all the rage now (North Carolina, Kansas, etc).   Most if not all of these laws were written by a guy from Kansas, Kris Kobach, on behalf of ALEC (an organization I’ve written about before).  You might remember him better as the asswipe who wrote SB1070 Paper’s Please law.     Well, Arizona also passed another Kobach drafted law in 2004 called Proposition 200 that required voters to prove they were citizens instead of letting them just attest to being citizens.

The Inter Tribal Council of America, a Native American organization representing 20 different tribes with reservations in the state, filed suit and the case made it all the way to the Supreme Court (aka, SCOTUS).  Why the Native Americans?  Because many of them are born, live and die on the Reservation and do not have Birth Certificates.  A very large percentage don’t have photo ID’s.  None of that changes the facts that they’re still citizens and they should have the right to vote and be treated equally (14th Amendment and all that).

So SCOTUS FINALLY ruled in June of this year that the National Voting Rights Act of 1993 overrides Arizona Proposition 200 and said that AZ could not reject Federal registration forms using AZ legal standards BUT they didn’t say that the AZ requirements were unconstitutional–just that anyone who used Federal forms can’t be rejected.   Unfortunately, this gives the resident fascists a lovely little opening to screw those pesky voters (who, oh so conveniently happen to be brown and/or female).  AZ Secretary of State, Ken Bennett, has decided that there will be two classes of voters now.  People who register to vote using the AZ state form, which requires proof of citizenship, will be allowed to vote in all elections and sign petitions for initiatives, referenda and recalls.  But those who use/used the Federal form, which only requires the applicant to attest to the fact that they are a citizen, can only vote in Federal elections.

Voting is complicated enough but now they’re trying to specify who has the right to vote and who doesn’t.  This sounds really effing unconstitutional to me and others.  But I’m not hearing about this outrage much in local and state news.   Google searches show up very few articles…one of which is simply an interview that allows Bennett to defend his strategy.

As informed as I am, I don’t even know whether I used a Federal form or a state form.  I’m sure millions of other Arizonans won’t either.  And since they don’t know this is happening, they’re going to be mighty effing shocked when they go to vote in the next election and are told they can’t vote for governor, legislators, ballot initiatives, etc.  But by then it will be too late.  They will have lost their right to vote, the state Republican party will have benefited and any court ruling will be another decade in the future (maybe).  This is another arrow in the heart of democracy and it’s happening far too quietly right under Arizonan’s noses.

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