Sunday, July 16, 2006

The GOP's Got a Problem With Voting Rights

For years, leaders of the Republican Party and their amen corner in the media has been demanding to know why African-American voters so consistently support the Democratic Party.

Here's a thought:

When the U.S. House debated the "Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act" this month, the process was bogged down for weeks by objections from Republican members of the House who sought to eliminate some or all of the essential protections contained in the 41-year-old guarantee of equal protection for minority voters.

Even on the final day of debate on the measure, the House had to dispense with four amendments – all sponsored by Republicans -- that sought to undermine the scope and application of the Voting Rights Act.

None of the anti-voting rights amendments received as many as five Democratic votes.

All of the anti-voting rights amendments received at least 95 Republican votes.

One of the amendments – Iowa Representative Steve King's move to restrict and potentially eliminate the availability of ballots for Americans who do not speak English as their first language – gained 181 Republican votes.



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