The World According To Will ~ Voter ID Laws And Voter Turnout

On July 3rd, Will Anderson, one of our Athens Now staff writers and a talk show host whose program is on Huntsville’s WBHP, was involved in a terrible car accident. Undaunted and undeterred, the man is still functioning in his former capacity through facebook, posting blogs, and speaking to the nurses that are caring for him. Per usual, he is rattling a few cages and making people both think and laugh, and below we have posted one of his blogs written from his hospital bed. He is recovering nicely, will be returning to the show as soon as he is able, has been touched both by the care he as received at the hospital as well as the outpouring of love and support from his listeners, and all of us pray that he has a speedy recovery with full restoration of the use of his legs.

Voter ID Laws And Voter Turnout

I read the post below to one of the wonderful folks taking care of me here at Stallworth, and he objected (with a smile, of course) that I was taking things too far by suggesting that Democrats are concerned about Texas stripping minorities of the Constitutional right to vote. I referred him to this column in today’s Los Angeles Times, in which Bruce Ackerman and Jennifer Nou posit that there are “special provisions of the Voting Rights Act that prevent states with a history of discrimination from disadvantaging minority groups.”

The 1965 Act, they go on to argue, is insufficient in stopping such discrimination. “The poll tax amendment, in contrast, was focused on the very problem that now threatens again to undermine our democracy: imposing costs on the poor that prevent them from voting.”

My caretaker was confused: Was I in favor of preventing minorities from voting? Of course not, I assured him; requiring a picture ID is not tantamount to imposing a tax, and besides, I continued, states that have passed voter ID laws in the last several years have actually seen an increase in minority turnout. He was politely skeptical as he took my blood pressure.

Then I unearthed a column written back in March by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s always brilliant Jack Kelly. “In Georgia,” I read to my caretaker from the piece, “black voter turnout for the midterm election in 2006 was 42.9 percent. After Georgia passed photo ID, black turnout in the 2010 midterm rose to 50.4 percent. Black turnout also rose in Indiana and Mississippi after photo IDs were required.”

It was probably my imagination that the BP cuff felt tighter than normal around my arm.

By: Will Anderson
The Will Anderson Show M-F 6pm-8pm on 800 and 1230AM and 106.5FM WBHP