Voter ID Laws Will Disenfranchise Voters
March 26, 2012 | Clarion Ledger | David Goodman
My brother, Andrew Goodman, was murdered by the Neshoba County Ku Klux Klan during Freedom Summer 1964 because he wanted to vote and figured all other Americans wanted that right, too.
Along with James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, Andy died defending democracy against the Jim Crow practices that shut African-Americans out of the voting booth and public discourse.
Back then, less than 6 percent of African Americans in Mississippi were registered to vote and the awful truth was that the white power structure wanted it that way.
Fortunately, because of the work of lots of brave people and good citizens, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 became the law of the land. Finally, we had the tools to fight decades of obstructive voting rules, and millions of citizens, in all parts of the country, gained the right to vote.
Almost 50 years later, it seems we are sliding into the heart of darkness once again. A number of states have enacted or are considering new election legislation that promises to again restrict certain demographic groups from voting. And this time, it's not only Southern states like Mississippi, but Midwestern states like Kansas and Wisconsin.
Perhaps the most insidious of these new anti-democratic proposals is the push to require government-issued photo ID in order to register and vote in the name of protecting the public from "voter fraud."