Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Ohio Republicans: On the disenfranchisement bandwagon.

From Election Law:

The [Ohio State] Senate is considering a requirement that voters show a photo ID at their polling place - a move that could disenfranchise the homeless and the elderly, opponents to the proposal said Tuesday. The Senate Rules Committee is to hold its first hearing Wednesday on a House-passed bill that would make numerous changes to Ohio election law.
The changes include allowing voters to use absentee ballots without giving a reason and declare their party affiliation when they register to vote. Senators considering the requirement of a photo identification say it would be further assurance against voter fraud.

The upshot: Easier for those who cast absentee ballots (Republicans) to vote; harder for those who go to the polls (Democrats) to vote; net gain for Republicans.

"We've made it clear that that's something members of the Senate have an interest in," said Jeff Jacobson, a suburban Dayton Republican and a Rules Committee member. Adding the requirement would hurt the homeless and elderly, who often lack driver's licenses or state photo IDs, said Bill Faith, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio.
He quoted a Cleveland voting advocate as saying 114,000 Ohio voters would be refused the right to vote for lacking an ID. It's also a solution in search of a problem, according to hearings held on the idea, Faith said. "We hear lots of members talk about voter fraud. We don't hear a lot of witnesses talk about voter fraud," Faith said.

100,000 in Ohio, 100,000 in Wisconsin, 100,000 in Georgia; I wonder how many millions of voters Republicans ultimately hope to disenfranchise before they're done?