A recent quote I found went something like this: "If this really was a right-wing country Republicans would make it easy to vote in Wal-Mart check-out lines."
Instead, as of early 2011, the legislatures in every Republican-led swing state except Iowa (Kudos to you, dear Iowa!) have been busy making it harder, if not impossible, for the poor, the elderly, and any indigenous minorities to vote.
Jim Crow is back but his name has been changed to "Senior Voter Fraudini".
The story the GOP has been hawking is that the American voting system is rife with untold numbers of ballots signed "Mickey Mouse", and that busloads of undocumented, sweaty field-hands have been carted in from Guadalajara just to swell the number of Democratic legislators.
In truth, there's almost no documented vote fraud. You are more likely to have the Space Shuttle land in your bathtub than find a voting error that's anything more than an honest mistake... excluding Mitt Romney who very probably committed voter fraud in 2010. If he lived in his son's basement for more than three seconds I'm Helen Gahagan.
Another aspect of the voting process that I'd like to touch on is why we deny felons the right to vote. Is this in some absurd way supposed to prevent vast populations of arsonists, for example, from voting for pro-arson candidates? I always thought incarceration was all the penalty necessary for any felony. Is there any reason other than pure Judeo-Christian spitefulness to deny a man who's paid his debt to society the right to remove from office the very bounders who, oh, I dunno know, caused the sort of economic collapse that perhaps drove him to perform his particular desperate act in the first place?
More sinisterly, it appears that one of the results the War On Drugs has been to also disenfranchise large segments of the black population. As many as 8 percent of voting age blacks cannot now vote, as compared to 2 per cent of the general population. That's a lot of Democrats.
We all deserve a chance to make a better life for ourselves regardless of the mistakes we make and we all deserve a chance to vote, even the one's who, supposedly, still have the right.