Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How "Real ID" Legislation Is Depriving people of citizenship rights across the Nation

From "Democracy Dispatches," a DEMOS EJournal:

Impending "Realness:" Transgender Communities Dealt a Blow By REAL ID
by Cole Krawitz

Recently election reformers have focused a great deal of attention on the real potential for a rollback in voting rights with the flurry of highly restrictive photo ID laws moving across state legislatures. Adding to an already layered system, there have been serious restrictions tacked on the franchise in states like Georgia and Indiana, while Wisconsin's Governor Doyle keeps the disastrous effects of a five-time proposed photo ID bill at bay with his veto pen.

Let's hope he has enough ink.

Rather than protecting, it is estimated that photo ID requirements at the polls will cost millions of eligible voters their vote, most of them elderly, people of color, low-income or recently relocated. The people with the most to say this election season may well lose their vote -- if they haven't already -- in the next presidential election, thanks to their public servants in the U.S. House and Senate.

After the passage of the REAL ID Act -- a dangerous add-on to an $82 billion military spending bill in 2005 -- the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform recommended using REAL ID for voter identification at the polls. Election reformers and civil rights advocates responded with a swift outcry. They did so again a few weeks ago, when Senator Mitch McConnell tried to attach a REAL ID requirement for voters to the immigration bill. The challenge continues as photo ID bills sweep state legislatures, and as states move to implement REAL ID legislation by 2008. Hurricane survivors, African Americans, Latinos, grandmas and grandpas, young people -- you might have to kiss even more of your rights goodbye. That should scare you.
To read more of this article by Cole Krawitz, click here.


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