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Segregation-era voting restrictions are back

Segregation-era voting restrictions are back

A black man in Wisconsin, who has voted all his life, can no longer do so, thanks to stringent voter ID laws introduced in that state. Similar initiatives have been implemented elsewhere by Republican-run legislatures under the guise of an anti-fraud measure. Yet, ultimately, they have been introduced to suppress voter turnout amongst those who cannot afford photo ID and who are more likely to vote Democrat. You can usually tell who these people are by the colour of their skin. The Nation's Ari Berman writes in further detail about the increidble hurdles that one individual, Eddie Lee Holloway Jr, had to jump to supply the right forms of ID:

"He brought his expired Illinois photo ID, birth certificate, and Social Security card to get a photo ID for voting, but the DMV in Milwaukee rejected his application because the name on his birth certificate read “Eddie Junior Holloway,” the result of a clerical error when it was issued."

Presumably, this error never stopped Holloway getting a social security number, yet it is only now deemed significant enough to prevent him from voting. The story continues:

"Holloway... got a ride downtown to the Vital Records System to try to fix his birth certificate. Vital Records said it would cost between $400 and $600, which Holloway could not afford. He then called the Illinois Vital Records Division, who said he had to personally come to Springfield, the state capitol, to amend his birth certificate. So Holloway bought a $180 round-trip bus ticket and traveled four hours back to his home state. Once in Springfield, the division said it needed a copy of his high-school and vaccination records. Holloway went to his hometown of Decatur to get his school records, paying $20 to his friend for gas money, but after returning to Springfield, Vital Records said it needed his full Social Security statement, which he didn’t have. He also visited the Illinois DMV, but had no luck there either. He left Illinois without getting the documents he needed to vote in Wisconsin."

And then:

"Back in Milwaukee, Holloway got two copies of his Social Security statement and asked Illinois Vital Records if he could e-mail or fax them over. They said he’d have to appear in person again. But Holloway didn’t have the money to make another trip to Illinois and gave up trying to get a voter ID. He’d spent $200, visited two states, and made seven trips to different public institutions, but still couldn’t vote in Wisconsin."

Republicans know that demographics aren't on their side - there are only so many angry white men. Thus, some are resorting to segregation-era politics to mitigate the effects.

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