Tag Archives | voting rights

Billionaire Wants More Votes For The Rich

Yes, billionaire investor Tom Perkins is absolutely serious, the 1% should get more votes because they pay more in taxes (and if you pay no taxes, you would get no vote). From CNN Money:

Tom Perkins suggested Thursday that only taxpayers should have the right to vote — and that wealthy Americans who pay more in taxes should get more votes.

The venture capitalist offered the unorthodox proposal when asked to name one idea that would “change the world” at a speaking engagement in San Francisco moderated by Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky.

“The Tom Perkins system is: You don’t get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes,” Perkins said.

“But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?”

The audience at the Commonwealth Club reacted with laughter. But Perkins offered no immediate indication that he was joking.

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Republicans Now Seeking To Prevent Women From Voting

votersIt’s no longer just about minorities, the poor, and college students; introducing the next target for disenfranchisement. The New Civil Rights Movement notes that Republicans in Texas (and a number of other states) have now devised and passed new voter ID laws that will render a large fraction of female voters, but not male voters, ineligible to vote:

As of November 5, Texans must show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name. Only 66% of voting age women have ready access to a photo document that will attest to proof of citizenship. This is largely because women have not updated their documents with their married names. Suddenly 34% of women voters are scrambling for an acceptable ID, while 99% of men are home free.

A birth certificate is not enough. Women voters will have to show legal proof of a name change: a marriage license, a divorce decree, or court ordered change; and they have to be the original documents.

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North Carolina Passes Sweeping Voting Restrictions Aimed At Minorities And Students

votersSince the Supreme Court’s striking down of a key portion of the Voting Rights Act in June, lawmakers in conservative Southern states have leapt into action passing legislation to restrict the ability of minorities, the young, the poor, and college students to vote. Via Buzzfeed, some of the most extreme changes are coming in North Carolina:

On Thursday, North Carolina legislators passed a revised voter ID bill, supported by Republicans who control the state Legislature, that would will place sweeping new restrictions on when, where, and how citizens can vote.

  • The early voting period will be shortened by a week, from 17 days to 10. Same-day registration during the early voting period will be eliminated.
  • Straight-party ticket voting will be eliminated.
  • Political party chairpersons will be allowed to designate up to 12 poll “observers” to monitor polling locations in order to ferret out voter fraud. Democracy North Carolina refers to these observers as “vigilantes.”
  • Sixteen- and 17-year-olds will no longer be allowed to pre-register to vote.
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The Mind-Boggling ‘Literacy Test’ Louisiana Gave To Black Voters In The 1960s

You may have heard that prior to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (gutted by the Supreme Court a week ago), across much of the American South blacks were denied the right to vote if they failed a literacy test. You might imagine that a literacy test confirms one’s ability to read and write. You would be wrong. Via Slate, take a shot at passing the actual test given to black voters in Louisiana in 1964. Remember that if you want to vote, you must get a perfect score, you have a mere 10 minutes to do the entire test, and half the questions don’t actually make sense. Also your results will be scored by the racist white voting registrar.

literacy test

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Yes, Chief Justice Roberts, the South is More Racist

Voting Rights Act Section 5's Covered Jurisdictions, which are More Racist

When Wednesday John Roberts and the solicitor general questioned whether any southern concentration of racism was a rationale for Voting Rights Act Section 5’s constitutionality, cynics responded as though the chief justice was blind to a vicious national legacy. One American Prospect article — leaning on a 2005 analysis that concluded the U.S. South was especially racist — was redistributed through Twitter at least 300 times over a day.

The American Journal of Political Science analysis, aforementioned, “Old Times There Are Not Forgotten: Race and Partisan Realignment in the Contemporary South [PDF],” concluded “the regional gap in racial conservatism has not closed since [the end of the Civil Rights era.]”

The exchange between the justice and administration lawyer was in the context of a Supreme Court challenge to the decades-old Voting Rights Act, by Alabama’s Shelby County — a challenge on whether mostly southern states, due to Section 5’s “preclearance requirements,” should have to run voting-law changes by authorities in Washington.… Read the rest

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