Our friend Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ father, William Louis-Dreyfus, took out a full-page ad in The New York Times yesterday to rally support in the battle against insidious voter suppression efforts in many states.
In his broadside, William points that some Republicans have been blunt about their motives for passing legislation requiring photo IDs, reducing early voting, striking people from registered voter rolls, and other vote suppression tactics. Republican Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, for instance, famously bragged about passing “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” (Too bad for Turzai, he told the truth on tape.)
The fight against voter suppression is critical. As an Ohioan, I remember the 2004 Presidential election all too well. Kerry lost Ohio by the narrowest of margins – but how many votes for Kerry were lost because the Republican Secretary of State made sure there were too few noting machines in Democratic-leaning districts? The long lines of lower income working folk and students waiting for many hours to vote were an embarrassment – and a very real danger — to our democracy.
Voters in inner-city precincts in Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo — which were voting for Kerry by margins of ninety percent or more — often waited up to seven hours. At Kenyon College, students were forced to stand in line for eleven hours before being allowed to vote. According to an article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the Common Dreams website, “Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted — enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.”
William Louis-Dreyfus knows this. You can check out his ad at the website of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. Make a donation if you can. This is an important fight.
You can also check out an interview with William in the Huffington Post.