Thursday, August 16, 2012

A PSA: Don't let your vote be adulterated.

Today is the day... the day for a Public Service Announcement.

We are a little over 80 days until the 2012 Presidential Election. And, with President Obama and Vice President Biden going head-to-head with the presumptive nominees of the Republican Party, things are heating up.

But, with all of the talk of certain candidates withholding tax returns, the lying about the Presidents cuts to Medicare and what they actually do - as well as, the all-out assault on Women's Rights ... the choice for this November is clear. At least it is for me. Perhaps it's not for you yet.

Regardless of political party, we must move forward in this country. And, that starts by voting this November.

Unfortunately, many state Republicans - trembling in fear that President Obama might get re-elected - are changing voting rules in order to keep certain segments of the population away from the polls. They say it will help deter a form of voter fraud called "voter impersonation" - even though recent research shows that UFO sightings are 3,615 times more common than instances of voter fraud.

What they're not telling you is that they're trying to "fix" the election in Romney's favor because they know that he is incredibly unlikely to win on his own merit.

You think I'm joking?

The passage of the Voter ID law in Pennsylvania was praised by Pennsylvania's Republican House Majority Leader Mike Turzai because in his estimation the "Voter ID law ... is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania".

Now, to be fair: there is a voter-education effort underway in Pennsylvania. Of course - as per usual - it's been contracted out. And, wouldn't you know ... the private lobbying firm that has been hired to educate Pennsylvania voters on the new Republican penned Voter ID law is run by the former executive director of the state Republican Party -- who also happens to be a generous Romney donor.

Despite the best efforts of groups like the ACLU to get the law overturned, on Wednesday morning, a Pennsylvania judge declined to grant a preliminary injunction on the state's controversial Voter ID law. This means that for now, the law remains on the books.

And Pennsylvania is not alone in it's voter suppression efforts. According to the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, ten states have passed voter ID laws since the beginning of 2011, including the key swing states of Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. It has been estimated that these laws would affect as many as 11% of eligible voters nationwide.

11% of Americans being turned away from the polls. TURNED AWAY. And, who does this effect? Older people who no longer have valid state-issued photo ID, students who are at college in a state other than the one in which their Drivers License was issued, poor people who are unable to afford to pay the fee to get a state-issued photo ID and minorities who may not have the pertinent documentation to jump through the hoops required for a state-issued photo ID. All of whom would most like vote for President Obama.

It's happening in Ohio, too.  The Republican lawmakers there have tried repeatedly to restrict the state’s early voting window. Why is having the ability to vote early important? Because on election day, many people who work try to vote on their lunch hours - and, as you'll remember from the heavily Democratic precincts in the 2004 election, people were forced to wait up to seven hours in order to vote. So, early voting reforms were put in place and have been shown to be extremely popular. Now, for this election, the Republicans are trying to trim them back - cutting early voting hours and closing the polling places on Saturdays.

As the law stands right now, early voting in Ohio ends for many voters on Friday, November 2nd, instead of Monday, November 5th. So, on the day when many African-American churches would have gather their hard-working congregations to go cast their early-voting ballot - on that Sunday, November 4th - the polls will be closed in Ohio.

What does it say about a party that has to "fix" elections in order to win? What does it say about their ideas?

Steve Benen at the The Maddow Blog put it best:
[I]f Obama has been such an awful failure, why do so many Republicans feel the need to rig the elections process in the GOP's favor? Shouldn't they consider it easy to defeat the president in a fair fight?
We can't let this happen. We have to do everything we can to help everyone vote. Democrat AND Republican.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
It is our fundamental right as Americans to participate in the election of our government. It is a key principle upon which our great country was founded. If you sit by and let a nervous political party corruptly muck-up your chances to take part in that vote ... if you allow them to bully you into not being allowed to cast your vote ... then, you have allowed them to adulterate our elections.
Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
What can you do? You can volunteer to go door to door, make calls, and talk with our neighbors to make sure everyone in your community is registered and ready to vote on Election Day. You can volunteer to help older people, students and minorities get their photo IDs updated. You can post current Photo ID requirements on your Facebook page or other social media outlets. Or, you can simply ask your co-workers, congregation members, friends and family: Are you ready to vote? Do you have the proper "documentation" to do so? To learn more about what you need on election day - and, to register - visit gottavote.org and click on your state.

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