The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Voter ID laws the real fraud here

We as Americans often hear about “wars” that take place domestically.  Media pundits often spin these ideas of people’s rights and beliefs as being trampled in order to help create a sense of outrage.

People will put war in front of anything in hopes of drumming up awareness for their cause.  The “War on Christmas” comes to mind as one example.  This is where people claim that because the government makes an effort to maintain the idea of separation of Church and State, members of the said government are actually out to destroy Christmas.

While most of these “wars” are a way to get people to erroneously believe that they are being attacked, there is an actual “war” taking place against a group of people in this country who are low-income earners and hope to vote this November.

Republicans across the country have chosen to take up this battle by attempting to pass voter identification laws, which require citizens to produce valid, state issued I.D. when they show up to vote.

That doesn’t sound controversial until you realize this battle against voter fraud has no opponent. A recent study found that out of 600 million votes cast in an election, there were 2,068 cases of alleged “election fraud.”  Of that 2,068, only ten, ten cases of fraud were in-person voter fraud.

Confusing, isn’t it?

Rather than preventing voter fraud, these laws affect a disproportionate amount of minority voters. These voters, coincidentally enough, are much more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate than the Republican one.

According to the non-partisan Brennan Center, at least five million voters will be disenfranchised because of they lack the newly required identification.  Of that five million, around one million will be young (30 and under) minorities, a key demographic for Democrats.

All of this is added onto a process where one would be delusional to think making yourself heard wasn’t difficult enough. As if your vote wasn’t going up against lobbyists and the corporations behind them.  Now, they’re trying to take away the one small say you have in your governmental process.  We’re now in a time where you have to fight the elected representatives (that you elected) for the right to vote for their replacements.

A point was reached in America – the point where your gender, your race, or your income didn’t affect whether or not you would be permitted to have a say in the government. That was 48 years ago when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed.  This put an end to the Jim Crow laws present in the south that made it basically impossible for poor blacks to vote due to poll taxes and literacy tests that were instituted following the passage of the 15th Amendment, which was supposed to give everyone that fundamental right. What has begun to happen with the voting laws that have been passed in the past decade is an attempt to put in place a modern-day version of those poll taxes.

A certain amount of citizens, mainly the ones who would have had the right to vote since the beginning of the republic (wealthy, white and male) want to turn back the clock. They don’t want 100 percent of this country to have a say because when everyone has a say, they (the right wing) lose.

The issue here is multi-leveled.  On the first level, millions of qualified voters in November will be denied the right to vote because of fairy tales.  What this means, is that the right is taking an issue that doesn’t exist, limiting people’s rights to fight this imaginary problem and as a result, are attempting to eliminate opposition to their side of the fight.

The issue doesn’t stop there, however, as egregious as that first problem sounds.  On top of all of this Republican enforced “regulation,” widespread fraud has been uncovered around the nation and most notably in Florida, dealing with very same Republican Party.

A consulting firm that had been hired by the Republican National Committee to deal with registering voters in not only Florida, but other swing-states as well, has been dropped by the Committee due to issues with voter registration voting forms in up to 11 counties in the state.  This company, which goes by the name of Strategic Allied Consulting, was also investigated for fraud during the 2004 election cycle.

So now, not only is the Republican Party trying to eliminate voters through “legal means” of legislation, they’re also committing the same fraud that they rail against as preventing a free and honest election.

From the claims of fraud, to the actual fraud to taking place, it all amounts to voter intimidation.  There’s a very clear agenda at work here.  If you are a low-income individual, there is a high chance you are voting for the Democratic Party this November.  In addition, if you are a low-income, inner city individual, there is a high chance you don’t have possession of and don’t really have use for an I.D.

The Republican Party, a party who lately, is notorious for distorting the facts, is trying to rig another election.  The question is, will this country bother enough to fully fight back (which we are seeing the beginning of thanks to level-headed judges in Ohio and Pennsylvania) or could we end up dealing with the results of larger version of past election scandals.

Unfortunately, it’s not clear if the decision is in the hands of the American people, or scarily enough, it might not be at all.

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About the Contributor
Kieran Lynch, Editor-in-Chief
Contact: [email protected]. Two years ago, when I was the Sports Editor, Kieran was the first person to express interest in writing sports for the Torch. He’s been taking initiative like that ever since. Since that time, he’s blossomed, first as a sports writer, then doing double duty as the men’s basketball team’s beat writer and the Features Editor. In that time, Kieran has proven to be a top-notch reporter, writer and editor, and has shown a willingness to go above and beyond what’s expected of him. He has everything needed to be a great Editor-in-Chief, and as pressing issues at the University demand serious coverage, I couldn’t be leaving the Torch in safer hands. -Mike Cunniff Editor-in-Chief, Emeritus
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