Tuesday, September 20, 2005

From John Conyers

When I saw the news that Jimmy Carter was part of the group proposing a national voter ID card, I was surprised. Now I'm shocked, after reading the same concern from John Conyers, and it's worse than I thought!

Those of you who are faithful readers of the "Green Dog" know I hardly ever publish stuff from other people, especially national figures and politicians. I figure we all get it several times in our Inbox. However, this one got to me, and I want it to get out far and wide. So read on:

"A privately funded, unaccountable Commission organized by former Bush-Cheney campaign lawyer James Baker, III, and former President Jimmy Carter issued a report today that includes policy proposals that will disenfranchise over ten percent of eligible voters –– a national ID requirement to vote. This national voter ID proposal is essentially a poll tax that will disenfranchise Americans of all backgrounds, but the poor, the disabled, the elderly, students, and people of color would bear the greatest burden. The Katrina victims – those without the means to escape the storm – typify the population that the Commission's ID proposal will most likely leave out of our democracy."

John Conyers is on the ball and doing something about it. What I cannot understand is how Jimmy Carter got hoodwinked into signing on with these guys? Any thoughts? We should all write to him and sing this petition asap.


Read more:

From Rep. John Conyers (http://johnconyers.com The Petitiocn is at

Join With Me in Fighting Against This New Poll Tax Proposal

The simple fact is that many minority and poor voters do not have the time, money or need to purchase a drivers license. In fact, over ten percent of eligible voters in the last election did not have a photo ID. They vote by presenting other means of identification (a voter registration card, utility bill, or affidavit). This Commission is now asking Congress to deny the franchise to those voters unless they obtain a national ID card.

The implausible claim is made that Congress will pay for ID cards for those who cannot afford to buy them. Yet, given the shortfalls in funding and implementation of the Help America Vote Act, combined with the multibillion-dollar costs for restoration of the Gulf Coast and the ongoing war in Iraq, we know this is not going to happen.

Join With Me in Fighting Against This New Poll Tax Proposal

Even those who would not be directly affected by this provision have expressed concern about its potential threat to personal privacy. The institution of a National ID card has throughout world history been a tool of repression. This recommendation, coupled with the Commission's recommendation of interoperable databases of voters, would mark the first step toward the creation of national registries of American citizens.

Make no mistake about it, this national ID voting card will result in the disenfranchisement of poor and minority voters and make us susceptible to the same old Ken Blackwell-style Republican electoral dirty tricks that cost Senator Kerry the election in Ohio. Remember the lack of voting machines in Ohio for Democratic voters? Remember the machines that broke down or registered strange numbers of votes for George Bush or unknown third party candidates? Remember Ken Blackwell's paper weight requirements for voter registration cards?

Imagine if the Republican party can, in one fell swoop, apply new legal obstacles to more than ten percent of voters, most of them poor, minority and elderly voters, most of them Democratic voters, from being able to vote.

I am challenging you to get involved and fight this poll tax. Visit my website, http://johnconyers.com, to sign my petition to House Leadership and write a letter to the editor demanding that this proposal not be enacted. I have converted this website into a voting rights action center to address this issue. It will be constantly updated with up-to-the-minute news on this issue and actions you can take to help.

Thank you for your help and your continued stand for a better democracy.


John Conyers, Jr.

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