A major topic of discussion at the Palmerton Area Democratic Club meeting tonight was the Republican-passed Voter ID bill, also known as the Vote Suppression Act. Members discussed how we could help older voters obtain copies of their birth certificates, needed to get the ID card at PennDot centers. We talked about how to educate voters on the new requirement, and noted how elderly voters in urban areas who never drove now have to go through the hassle of obtaining a picture ID.
Near the end of the meeting, however, my friend Bernie pointed out a very important fact. We did not have the voter ID requirement in the primary, and fewer than 28% of the eligible voters cast ballots in Carbon County. That is eligible voters. Probably about half of the potential voters are registered in this county, so the actual turnout may have been closer to 12 or 13%. A few weeks ago I visited five houses on Pohopoco Drive, and I couldn’t find a single person who wanted to register. Voter ID was not an issue.
I know why the Republicans passed the ID requirement. I also know that if we could somehow convince unregistered Democrats to register and vote, we’d win every election in spite of the ID requirement.
P.S. I just heard that North Carolina voters amended the state constitution to forbid gay marriage. Given the level of bigotry, religious fanaticism, and just plain meanness in the U.S. in 2012, I am not surprised.