Sedona AZ (September 1, 2012) – The SedonaEye.com received the following Letter to the Editor from a Camp Verde, Arizona subscriber:
Dear Sedona Eye,
Celebrating Women’s Equality Day? Did anyone know about this?
Sunday, August 26, 2012 was the 92nd anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which gave women the right to vote. Now, almost a century later, our voting rights are under attack across this country.
Since 2011, 41 states have introduced at least 180 voter restriction bills including 34 with voter photo identification provisions. Now you may ask, “What’s so terrible about requiring a photo ID?” Well it’s not so easy to obtain a state or government issued ID.
According to a study done by the Brennan Center for Justice an NYU School of Law, 11% of Americans lack a govt. issued ID.
7% of US citizens (representing 13 million people) do not have ready access to their citizenship documents. Getting them, and/or a birth certificate can be expensive and issuing offices too far away as mentioned above. Many women change their surname when they marry.
According to the Brennan survey, of all voting age women even with ready access to their US birth certificates, only 48 percent have their current legal name on it. And only 66% of voting age women with such access to proof of citizenship have a document with their current legal name. That means as many as 32 million voting-age women may have no document available that confirms both their citizenship and their current name.
Other notorious restrictions include eliminating same day voter registration and reducing open polling hours. As many as five million people are destined to be unable to vote according to those restrictions.
Just recently Ohio tried to eliminate increased hours for polling places in Democratic counties, while allowing those in Republican districts to stay open.
These tricks disproportionately impact young people,the elderly, low income individuals and especially people of color, and within those parameters women are the ones most harshly affected. Does it surprise you that the people in those categories are most likely to vote Democratic? Voila! the real reason for those new laws: voter suppression. Of course this is all done with the excuse of preventing voter fraud.
Notwithstanding, a study found that between 2002 and 2005 the Federal Government obtained only 26 convictions for voter fraud (false ID) in 594 million votes.
In a nation that prides itself on holding free and fair elections, it is disturbing the we have to fight for voting rights all over again.
This in addition to the ongoing attacks on women’s economic security (Paycheck Fairness Act not being passed in the House of Reps) and reproductive rights (immeasurable bills to keep women from having access to birth control and healthcare). It is a critical time for women to pay attention to those candidates that will work for them or against them in the November election.Lee Cali Cottonwood AZ 86326