Saturday, January 17, 2015

Stacey Newman: Voting rights is not a game; we cannot remain silent

(From Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis)

We were informed that Voter ID bills (HB30 and HJR1) will be heard in a special Elections hearing at 2pm Wednesday, January 21st.

Yes, Voter Suppression to be one of the first bills to move ---and only 2 days after the state observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

This is a slap in the face to Missouri citizens.

This will be the 10th straight year that the Missouri GOP leadership has focused on making it harder for current longtime voters to vote, even though the Missouri Supreme Court has ruled voter ID proposals unconstitutional. Speaker John Diehl has made this one of his legislative priorites as the former St. Louis County Board of Elections Republican Director.

Voter ID laws throughout the country are being pushed by ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful lobbying group for corporations and the GOP. Their founder is quoted: "I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of the country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

We expect the Elections committee notice to be made public on Tuesday, ONLY about 24 hours before. This is NOT usual procedure and does not give citizens adequate notice to travel to Jefferson City.

What can you do? We NEED people to testify, fill the hearing room in the Capitol, and express their outrage to the Speaker. Contact Speaker Diehl - and let him know what you think about voter suppression.

Voting rights is not a game. We cannot afford to remain silent.

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