VOTER SUPPRESSION HITS NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW VOTER ID LAW DOES EXACTLY WHAT WAS INTENDED


Now it’s one thing for Red State Legislatures to pass Voter ID Suppression laws say in North Carolina and Alabama since in those states the target voter groups are minorities; you know, like African Americans and Latino Americans.  After all, we all know that both of these groups are not worthy of voting in our primaries and elections because they are lazy, uneducated, government moochers just ripping off us true, hard working, law abiding Americans to say nothing of those other folks being Thugs (African Americans) and Gang Bangers (Latino Americans).  So, no problem, right?

Well turns out there were a couple of problems in the recent New Hampshire primary elections as a result of a newly adopted Voter ID Suppression Law (and traffic congestion).  And, it pretty much worked as it was intended to work.  Here’s a Daily Kos piece about what happened and why:  


There's nothing like the sense of entitled frustration expressed by "first in the nation" primary voters kept away from the polls by the decisions of lawmakers.
"I am still frustrated. I don't think that it was that I wasn't able to vote today," said one voter who was turned away from a polling location in Merrimac, the only polling location in the community of 18,000. Traffic getting to the high school was the problem. One woman said that it took her 40 minutes to go two miles, and she nearly gave up, reaching the polling location just as the doors were closed. "It's wrong," said this woman. "We're in America and we're allowed to vote. It's our right."
The polling location official was all apologies. "This year the tweak that we did was just wrong," she said. "It's up to make this work, and I hate it that anyone feels like they weren't able to vote." So yeah, that will probably be fixed. This, however, probably won't, because it got the desired results—preventing college kids from voting.
PLYMOUTH, NH — Plymouth State senior Jack Swymer headed to the polls around 11:30 a.m. to cast a ballot for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). He tried to take advantage of the state's same-day registration process, but a poll worker told him that since he didn’t have a proof of his residence, he couldn't vote.
"I live off-campus, and the bills are in my roommate's name," he told ThinkProgress. "I wasn't familiar with all the voting laws, so I just did what the poll workers' advice because I figured they knew what they were doing."
It turns out, they did not. […]
"All I wanted to do is vote," he said. "It's important for everyone to vote, but especially students. We are the future, and our voice should be heard."

Swymer was supposed to have been offered the opportunity to sign an affidavit and cast a provisional ballot. After being turned away the first time, he was informed of this right by volunteers from NextGen who were looking out for precisely this kind of problem, returned to the poll and demanded his ballot. The volunteers were there because of New Hampshire's new voter ID laws, and because this kind of voter suppression was entirely predictable. It's exactly what was intended by these laws, according to then House Speaker Bill O'Brien. He told a tea party group in 2011 that:

the "kids [are] coming out of the schools and basically doing what I did when I was a kid, which is voting as a liberal. […] That's what kids do—they don't have life experience, and they just vote their feelings."

Preventing college students from doing that is exactly what O'Brien wanted to stop.
Suburban white voters getting snarled in traffic wasn't intended, so that problem won't be repeated in New Hampshire in November. Keeping college students from voting, however, is not a bug, and it will happen again.

It’s pretty strange that any state legislator, O’Brien in this case, would want to deprive young folks the right of casting their votes.  After all, I can still remember the excitement and responsibility I felt the very first time I voted.  It’s an event that kind of cements one’s feelings that you do have a say in how things work, even though in our Citizen’s United era of political buyouts of candidates and issues, it’s a tad diminished now.  Be that as it may, getting young people to vote is probably a pretty sure way of getting things changed.  Consider the enormous popularity of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) among the 18 to 29 year old set which, I’ll make a long shot speculative guess here, is what New Hampshire’s O’Brien was attempting to ward off.  I mean God for bid anyone under the age of 30 would want to vote Democratic.  How illogical! 

It’s going to take a few more lawsuits to unravel the web of voter suppression laws around the country and nothing will be settled until one or more of those cases wound up being heard by the Supreme Court.  Of course, there’s no guarantee that even then justice will prevail since this is the same court that gave us Citizen’s United and the Hobby Lobby decision.  Oh, as well as striking down a key voting rights element of the Voting Rights Act.  So there’s that. 


Stay tuned.   



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