Michelle Obama!!! And About Those Voter ID Laws…

Guess what!

Michelle Obama is coming to UF next week! I learned that she was speaking this Monday and promptly made my way over to the crazy long line on campus to get tickets those few more hours of studying chemistry wouldn’t have made a difference anyway… er. YOLO?. In the spirit of election season and the awesomeness of Michelle Obama… here are a few of my thoughts after reading this September Huffington Post article about voting ID laws from a few days ago.

I can wave back Monday!

The Voting Rights Act may have been passed in 1965, but that doesn’t stop us from having to fight for our right to party vote. Sure, Jim Crow laws are no longer around to require poll taxes or reading comprehension exams in order to disenfranchise minority voters and poor citizens. Yet…

“An estimated 700,000 young minority voters could be barred from voting in November because of photo ID laws passed across the country in recent years.”

In fact, the study this data came from said that the number will probably be closer to 1,000,000!

What makes it even scarier is that some Florida lawmakers are in support of these supposed ID laws “to protect the democratic process, not erode it, by making voter fraud more difficult.” Unfortunately, a significant portion of young minorities would not be qualified to vote because they lack ID cards (it’s technically not required to have) — is it just a coincidence that many of these suggestions to voting laws are occurring after 2008 marked a huge surge of activity with young (particularly minority) voters?

Think about it. If such voter ID laws were to pass,

Between 170,000 and 475,000 young Black voters; 68,000 and 250,000 young Hispanic voters; 13,000 and 46,000 young Asian-American voters; 1,700 and 6,400 young Native American voters and 700 and 2,700 young Pacific Islander voters could be denied the right to vote or turned away at the polls for not having the proper credentials.

These missing numbers would truly be felt in key battleground states like our dear Sunshine-y one (approximately 100,000 voters may be “demobilized”). If you didn’t have, say, a driver’s license, you would have to buy a $22 State-issued ID card instead. An August 2012 New York Times article said that this would require some to “travel 250 miles round-trip to get the card.”

Here at GLB we encourage you to Live a Marvelous Life. Sometimes that means gushing over a Free People dress that you would never actually buy like, seriously, $500?!? and DIY-ing the same outfit for a fraction of the cost (and still pay rent and eat and stuff). But that also means caring about Real People… and calling for justice. We want you to GLAI Life too— Go Live an Informed Life. Cheesy, yes. But important. Even if you don’t agree with us, do your research. Learn about all sides of an issue. Form an opinion. Other poignant clichés about civic duty.

What say you? Do you think these potential voting restrictions are a big deal? Or will their impact be negligible and not really affect President Obama’s chances at reelection?

And oh yeah, don’t forget to register to vote!




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