[Fwd: Proposed Voter ID Could Be New Poll Tax]

From: Fred McLain <mclain_at_zipcon_dot_net>
Date: Tue Sep 20 2005 - 15:39:53 CDT


-------- Forwarded Message --------
From: Congressman John Conyers <john.conyers@johnconyers.com>
Reply-To: 1999994767.119092.9@conyersforcongress.com
To: mclain@halcyon.com
Subject: Proposed Voter ID Could Be New Poll Tax
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 12:26:04 -0700

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September 20, 2005
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John Conyers, Jr. - 40 Years Of Jobs, Justice And Peace
John Conyers, Jr. - 40 Years Of Jobs, Justice And Peace
Website | Meet John Conyers, Jr. | Latest news | Contribute | On The
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                            Stop James Baker III from Doing it Again
  I have spent more than 40 years in public service fighting for voting
      rights and a better democracy. Today, I am sad to say, there are
    proposals being readied that would set us back in that struggle. A
       privately funded, unaccountable Commission organized by former
Bush-Cheney campaign lawyer James Baker, III, and former President Jimmy
  Carter issued a report today that includes policy proposals that will
   disenfranchise over ten percent of eligible voters –– a national ID
  requirement to vote. This national voter ID proposal is essentially a
poll tax that will disenfranchise Americans of all backgrounds, but the
   poor, the disabled, the elderly, students, and people of color would
bear the greatest burden. The Katrina victims – those without the means
   to escape the storm – typify the population that the Commission's ID
             proposal will most likely leave out of our democracy.
         Join With Me in Fighting Against This New Poll Tax Proposal
  The simple fact is that many minority and poor voters do not have the
   time, money or need to purchase a drivers license. In fact, over ten
percent of eligible voters in the last election did not have a photo ID.
       They vote by presenting other means of identification (a voter
 registration card, utility bill, or affidavit). This Commission is now
asking Congress to deny the franchise to those voters unless they obtain
                                       a national ID card.
  The implausible claim is made that Congress will pay for ID cards for
     those who cannot afford to buy them. Yet, given the shortfalls in
 funding and implementation of the Help America Vote Act, combined with
the multibillion-dollar costs for restoration of the Gulf Coast and the
          ongoing war in Iraq, we know this is not going to happen.
         Join With Me in Fighting Against This New Poll Tax Proposal
   Even those who would not be directly affected by this provision have
  expressed concern about its potential threat to personal privacy. The
  institution of a National ID card has throughout world history been a
 tool of repression. This recommendation, coupled with the Commission's
   recommendation of interoperable databases of voters, would mark the
     first step toward the creation of national registries of American
  Make no mistake about it, this national ID voting card will result in
       the disenfranchisement of poor and minority voters and make us
   susceptible to the same old Ken Blackwell-style Republican electoral
dirty tricks that cost Senator Kerry the election in Ohio. Remember the
   lack of voting machines in Ohio for Democratic voters? Remember the
   machines that broke down or registered strange numbers of votes for
George Bush or unknown third party candidates? Remember Ken Blackwell's
            paper weight requirements for voter registration cards?
Imagine if the Republican party can, in one fell swoop, apply new legal
      obstacles to more than ten percent of voters, most of them poor,
minority and elderly voters, most of them Democratic voters, from being
                                            able to vote.
 I am challenging you to get involved and fight this poll tax. Visit my
website, http://johnconyers.com, to sign my petition to House Leadership
   and write a letter to the editor demanding that this proposal not be
    enacted. I have converted this website into a voting rights action
      center to address this issue. It will be constantly updated with
  up-to-the-minute news on this issue and actions you can take to help.
Thank you for your help and your continued stand for a better democracy.
                                         John Conyers, Jr.
                          Contact Information
website: http://www.johnconyers.com/
                                      Conyers for Congress
                                           P.O. Box 17204
                                  Alexandria, Virginia 17204
                                       Phone: 313-438-2004
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Received on Wed Nov 30 23:17:02 2005

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