Senator Mitch McConnell (R KY) has offered an amendment to the immigration bill pending in the Senate that would require every voter in the 2008 election to provide government-issued, current and valid photo identification before being allowed to vote at a polling place. This amendment would disenfranchise large numbers of legal voters and create administrative problems at the polls in the next federal election.
Please contact your Senators immediately and urge them to oppose the McConnell Amendment to require photo ID for the 2008 election.
Congress must not manipulate the voting process by blocking voters from participating in elections. This amendment not only discriminates against legal voters, it also discourages voter participation by adding unnecessary burdens to the voting process.
Photo ID requirements disproportionately impact those who are least likely to have current photo ID: the elderly, young people, people of color, rural voters, individuals with disabilities and frequent movers. At the polls, acceptance of the ID would be determined by poll workers and election officials. Such tests and devices have historically resulted in discrimination and disenfranchisement of eligible voters.
The type of election fraud that might be addressed by the amendment is, in fact, a rare problem. There is no question that election misconduct exists, but the lack of evidence of instances where voters misrepresent their identity at the polls suggests that a photo ID requirement is simply unnecessary.
Congress should not be playing politics with the right to vote. Voter participation should be increased, not blocked by unwarranted barriers.
This type of political manipulation has absolutely no place in American democracy!
Take action today to oppose discriminatory ID requirements for voters.
Voting is the most fundamental expression of citizenship. Much of the last century was spent breaking down barriers to citizen voter participation from literacy tests to the poll tax. We must continue to protect eligible voters from discrimination, and must not allow new barriers to be erected in the 21st Century.
1. Contact your Senators now, by phone and by email, and urge her/him to oppose the McConnell Amendment that requires every voter in the 2008 election to provide government-issued, current and valid photo identification before being allowed to vote at a polling place. Tell your Senators that the amendment not only discriminates against legal voters, it also discourages voter participation by adding unnecessary burdens to the voting process.
Phone calls are helpful and can be made through the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121. Enter your zip code and send an instant message to your Senators now!
2. Send this alert to other concerned citizens - your grassroots network, your friends and coworkers. Encourage them to contact their Senators today!
Click here for LWVUS President Mary G. Wilson's statement strongly denouncing the McConnell Amendment.
Click here for more information about Election Administration.
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Action Alert #110-5, Election Administration, Senate, GLC, 5/31/07
League of Women Voters
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