Week of 9.1.06
Block the Vote
More From This Week: About the Show | Perspectives: Voter's Voices | State by State: Voting Rules and Restrictions | Personal Essay: Democracy in the Deep South | From Mother Jones: America's 11 Worst Places to Vote | Book Excerpt: "Stealing Democracy" | Primer: The Voting Rights Act | Transcript
This week NOW looks at several states where these new rules may keep voters away from the polls in November.
Critics charge that the Bush administration is part of the problem as the U.S. Department of Justice, which is charged with protecting the rights of all voters, has signed off on a number of the new regulations.
In Florida, new penalties that can reach up to $5,000 for registration delays or problems, which forced traditional registration advocacy groups, like the League of Women Voters, to avoid registering voters for a crucial primary.
Florida Rep. Ron Reagan defends the law saying "it's to encourage people to turn them [registration forms] in on time."
In Georgia, a new law requires residents to show photo identification before voting, blocking thousands of people who currently lack the proper ID as well as the means of acquiring it.
But are these voting barriers unintended consequences or intended outcomes? Some distrust the true motives of lawmakers.
"This is a concerted effort to make sure that certain people don't have the opportunity to vote, that they don't have the opportunity to participate in their own democracy," Georgia state representative Alisha Thomas Morgan told NOW.
Going Beyond the Headlines: Brancaccio and Boehlert
Also on the show, David Brancaccio talks to Eric Boehlert, a long time observer of the ways of Washington and the press, about some things he's desperate to get off his chest, including the White House's latest public relations offensive to gain support for the war in Iraq. Boehlert, the author of "Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush," is a regular blogger on the Huffington Post.