Don’t Let Congress Block Eligible Voters

Do you think partisan politics should play a role in election law?  Of course not.  Should eligible voters be blocked from voting to gain partisan advantage?  Of course not.

Call (202) 225-7896 today and ask Rep. Peter King to vote against the rigging of election rules for partisan advantage.  Ask Rep. Peter King to vote against H.R. 4844.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 4844, which requires that all citizens voting in a federal election must show a photo ID card that proves their citizenship.  Take a look at your driver’s license.  Does it state that you’re a citizen?  If not, you’ll need to bring your passport when you vote if this bill becomes law.

This bill has passed out of committee on a party line vote, and is ready to go to the House floor for a vote on Wednesday.

Call (202) 225-7896 today and ask Rep. Peter King to vote against H.R. 4844 on Wednesday.

According to the State Department, only about 25 percent of citizens 18 and over have passports.  It costs $97 to get a passport and takes six weeks, unless you pay even more for expedited service.  This amounts to an immense poll tax.

Why is H.R. 4844 being pushed through Congress in the final two weeks before Congress goes on recess until after the election?  Some representatives claim that they’re concerned about voter fraud.  Yet, fraud based on voter identity or citizenship is very rare.  What photo ID and proof of citizenship rules do accomplish is to block eligible voters from voting.  Elderly, minority, poor, rural, and urban voters all are unduly burdened by these requirements.

This bill and others like it must be stopped.  Ask Rep. Peter King today to vote against H.R. 4844.

In addition, such a requirement will increase the problem of long lines at the polling place.  Poll workers will have to explain the onerous requirements, and voter after voter will be turned away.  Is this what we want to see at our next election?

We have a huge challenge ahead of us to take partisanship out of election management and to ensure that every eligible voter can cast a ballot and that every vote is counted accurately.  It will take all of us working together to see that these reforms are enacted.  We are counting on your help.

Thanks for all you do today and in the future for election reform.

Yours truly,

Barbara Burt
V.P., Director of Election Reform
Common Cause

P.S.  We all know our election system is already in terrible turmoil: witness the complete breakdown of the system in Maryland in last Tuesday’s primary.1  A requirement such as photo and citizenship ID will only add to the chaos, and will result in even more voters being disenfranchised.  We’ll keep you informed throughout the election season and beyond as we work to clean up this mess.

1: Washington Post, September 17, 2006

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