I.D., PLEASE. Much like how the PATRIOT Act included a host of provisions that had been on the right's wish list for years before 9/11, House Republicans are using the current uproar over immigration (which they themselves have stoked) as an excuse to disenfranchise likely Democratic voters. From The Los Angeles Times:

Republicans pushing for tougher means to stem illegal immigration got a boost Wednesday when the Senate agreed to consider a bill that would build a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and the House approved a measure that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Republicans in both chambers said the steps were necessary to protect the United States from illegal immigrants entering the country or trying to corrupt the voting process.

The Reps seem uninterested in offering much evidence for the alleged epidemic of illegal voting. ("We have 12 million illegal aliens in this country," said congressman Dan Burton. Many of them, we believe, have been voting illegally. Every illegal vote takes away the right of one American's vote.") What there is ample evidence for, of course, is the contention that people without photo IDs are disproportionately poor and minority citizens, who disproportionately tend to vote Democratic. But certainly only a total cynic would suggest that this bill is less an attempt to protect the sanctity of our voting system than an effort to undermine it for partisan advantage.

--Ben Adler

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