Guest Commentary: Voter ID: Voter Suppression By a Different Name

Written by admin   // February 24, 2011   // 0 Comments

by Mikeala Ferrill, President, Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council

The Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council is opposed to the Voter ID bill. The poll tax was not about raising revenue.

Literacy tests were not about ensuring an educated electorate.

Similarly, Voter ID is not about eliminating vote fraud. We appeal to Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin legislators to eliminate this bill.

Voting is a fundamental right. Government interest in any issue is justified only when there is a major problem. In Wisconsin the government interest in preventing voting fraud is a fairytale. Widespread voter fraud is not occurring in the state of Wisconsin.

Voting rights suppressors are quick to mention a handful of isolated cases of vote fraud. There are a small number of isolated cases of voter fraud, which has caused an overreaction to the problem.

A few instances of vote fraud (out of hundreds of millions of votes cast) should not justify legislation that has the potential to disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters.

The impact of the proposed Voter ID bill falls more harshly on minority voters.

The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Employment Training Institute, reports that African American and Latino young adults in Milwaukee County are disproportionately less likely than Caucasian young adults in Milwaukee County to have valid driver’s licenses.

We encourage all individuals to obtain their driver’s licenses so they can fully and equally participate in the many privileges afforded holders of photo identification (i.e., air travel, movie rental, check cashing, etc.). Whether an individual needs identification to take advantage of a privilege is an entirely different issue than whether those without photo identification should be prohibited from exercising their fundamental right to vote.

Voting is democracy. Blood has been shed to secure the right to vote.

History has not recorded such sacrifice for the privilege of renting a movie.

Our ancestors sacrificed much more than blood to secure human and civil rights for African Americans. Our challenge today is different than their challenge, but just as important.

Securing a right is meaningless unless there is an understanding that future generations will protect that right. We are that next generation and we hope that those who come after us will fight for their rights as citizens.

It is our duty today to prevent the casual infringement upon rights secured by the sacrifices of our ancestors.

As long as there are elections there will unfortunately be individuals/groups willing to attempt to extinguish African American voting power.

The idea of Voter ID, like the ideas of poll taxes and literacy tests, must be rejected by all people.

The fan of the poll tax, the fan of literacy tests, and the fan of Voter ID is no fan of democracy. Voter suppression is the Voter ID bill.

The Voter ID bill proposed by Governor Walker and some of the legislators of Wisconsin is unfair, un-American and an assault on democracy.

The Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council is a separate and legal entity from the Milwaukee Branch NAACP.

The purpose of the NAACP Youth Council is to inform youth of the problems affecting Black people and other minority groups; to advance the economic, educational, social, and political status of Black people and other minority groups and their harmonious cooperation with other people; to stimulate an appreciation of the African American contributions to civilization; and to develop an intelligent youth leadership through devising, working out and pursuing local programs.

(Note: Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council Unit #3383 is a separate unit from the Milwaukee Branch NAACP.)

Guest Commentary

 

Voter ID: Voter Suppression By a Different Name

 

Mikeala Ferrill

President, Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council

The Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council is opposed to the Voter ID bill. The poll tax was not about raising revenue.

Literacy tests were not about ensuring an educated electorate.

Similarly, Voter ID is not about eliminating vote fraud. We appeal to Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin legislators to eliminate this bill.

Voting is a fundamental right. Government interest in any issue is justified only when there is a major problem. In Wisconsin the government interest in preventing voting fraud is a fairytale. Widespread voter fraud is not occurring in the state of Wisconsin.

Voting rights suppressors are quick to mention a handful of isolated cases of vote fraud. There are a small number of isolated cases of voter fraud, which has caused an overreaction to the problem.

A few instances of vote fraud (out of hundreds of millions of votes cast) should not justify legislation that has the potential to disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters.

The impact of the proposed Voter ID bill falls more harshly on minority voters.

The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Employment Training Institute, reports that African American and Latino young adults in Milwaukee County are disproportionately less likely than Caucasian young adults in Milwaukee County to have valid driver’s licenses.

We encourage all individuals to obtain their driver’s licenses so they can fully and equally participate in the many privileges afforded holders of photo identification (i.e., air travel, movie rental, check cashing, etc.). Whether an individual needs identification to take advantage of a privilege is an entirely different issue than whether those without photo identification should be prohibited from exercising their fundamental right to vote.

Voting is democracy. Blood has been shed to secure the right to vote.

History has not recorded such sacrifice for the privilege of renting a movie.

Our ancestors sacrificed much more than blood to secure human and civil rights for African Americans. Our challenge today is different than their challenge, but just as important.

Securing a right is meaningless unless there is an understanding that future generations will protect that right. We are that next generation and we hope that those who come after us will fight for their rights as citizens.

It is our duty today to prevent the casual infringement upon rights secured by the sacrifices of our ancestors.

As long as there are elections there will unfortunately be individuals/groups willing to attempt to extinguish African American voting power.

The idea of Voter ID, like the ideas of poll taxes and literacy tests, must be rejected by all people.

The fan of the poll tax, the fan of literacy tests, and the fan of Voter ID is no fan of democracy. Voter suppression is the Voter ID bill.

The Voter ID bill proposed by Governor Walker and some of the legislators of Wisconsin is unfair, un-American and an assault on democracy.

The Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council is a separate and legal entity from the Milwaukee Branch NAACP.

The purpose of the NAACP Youth Council is to inform youth of the problems affecting Black people and other minority groups; to advance the economic, educational, social, and political status of Black people and other minority groups and their harmonious cooperation with other people; to stimulate an appreciation of the African American contributions to civilization; and to develop an intelligent youth leadership through devising, working out and pursuing local programs.

(Note: Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council Unit #3383 is a separate unit from the Milwaukee Branch NAACP.)


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