The voter suppression bills presently being debated in the Virginia General Assembly threaten to turn back time. Bill patrons claim that these measures are designed to combat voter fraud, but there is no evidence of wide-spread voterfraud in the Commonwealth. These bills will disproportionately affect some of our most vulnerable citizens: seniors,minorities, young adults, and low-income Virginians.
There is currently no indication of how these laws will be funded. Our state budget is alreadystretched to the maximum and finding the dollars to pay for trainings,provisional ballots, and free IDs means more cuts to vital programs like healthcare and education or passing the buck along to localities. Our state’s budget cannot afford to be stretched any farther, especially for legislation that creates headaches rather than benefits by making it harder for our citizens tovote.
The 1965 Voting Rights Act that Dr. King and millions of other civil rights activists worked hard to enact was designed to prevent this kind of voter suppression. The bills in our state legislature threaten to take us back to an era of Jim Crow when the poll taxand literacy test were used to establish and maintain legal segregation.Present day efforts to suppress the vote are likewise designed to limit theimpact that the elderly, minorities, low income people, and other underservedpopulations can have on our political system.
We urge Governor McDonnell and our lawmakers to oppose these bills. They will only make it harder for citizens to vote and put up barriers to our ful lparticipation in our democracy.
OPPOSE VIRGINIA'S VOTER SUPPRESSION BILLS
CALL TO ACTION
TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2012 at 10:00am
Bell Tower on Capital Square at 9th & Broad St.
This rally is sponsored by the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.