Today millions of people will go to the polls to vote in state and local elections. As they cast their ballot, they cast a vote for the most treasured aspect of our democracy. The voting booth is the one place where we are all equal — all Americans are able to have an equal voice in determining the shape of our government. That sacred right is now under the largest assault we have witnessed in more than a century.
Through a spate of restrictive laws passed in Republican-led state legislatures, a disproportionate number of African-Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, the elderly and the young will find voting difficult and in many cases impossible. These laws require a state photo ID to vote, limit early voting, place strict requirements on voter registration and deny voting rights to Americans with criminal records who have paid their debt to society.
Larry Butler of South Carolina was born at home in 1926, during a time of strict segregation when most hospitals did not take in African-Americans. Because Butler does not have an official birth certificate, he was denied the free state photo ID and told it would cost $150 to get the underlying document to obtain one. It is, in essence, a modern day poll tax used decades ago to deny blacks in the South their right to vote. Unlike Butler, who is not a wealthy man, most Americans will not have to pay more than $100 to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right. His voice could be silenced.
Full Article: Voting limits put democracy in peril – CNN.com.