09 January 2008

An unfortunate illustration of Indiana as craphole

The state of Indiana requires voters to present photographic identification before they can vote. The law's obvious purpose is to discourage voting by poor and minority voters. Thankfully, the voter ID law has been challenged and has a theoretic chance to be overturned. However, given our US Supreme Court that seems unlikely.

This law is one in a long history conservatives and other reactionaries have enacted to prevent voting by minorities and others they consider undeserving of the right to vote. Poll taxes and literacy or civic tests are some of the more common ones from our recent past.

At least as far back as 1996, while I working for lobbyists in the Indiana legislature, this voter ID law was being thrown-- around even though it has no ostensible or legitimate reason.

Before the voter ID law, Indiana came up with a clever way to dilute the votes of those most likely to vote for Democrats. Unigov. As clever as it was simple, the Republic voting suburbs were consolidated into Democratic voting city of Indianapolis in order to ensure Republic hegemony. And it worked: from its creation in 1969 until the late 1998 Indianapolis' mayor was Republican. (as a neat aside, Senator Dick Lugar was the mayor of Indianapolis at the time of Unigov).

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