You have to feel for the Republican majority in the General Assembly. Their strange obsession with supposed Democrat-sponsored voter fraud continues unabated, but they just can't seem to find enough ways to restrict Dems' voting rights. They've already thrown their support behind the controversial voter ID bill, which would require North Carolinians to produce a photo ID before entering the voting booth. As too many studies to list here have shown, the net effect of the voter ID law would be to make it harder for African Americans, the elderly and students to exercise their constitutional right to vote. If you have bought into the GOP mantra that Republicans lose elections because of Democratic fraud and ballot stuffing, the voter ID solution may seem ideal, but apparently not to the wiser heads now running the state GOP.
Last week, taking time off from plans to establish a state religion or lower standards for charter schools, Republican lawmakers introduced new bills designed to curb voter access to the polls in new ways. One bill would eliminate the child dependency tax deduction for parents of college students who vote in the town where they attend school. Such a law would mean that students would have to come home just to vote, lest their parents lose a $2,500 deduction, thus effectively suppressing student voting throughout the state. A majority of college students usually vote Democratic. And God help you if you leave your voter ID card at school — sorry, you're S.O.L. Another bill would take away the right to vote of any person who has been adjudicated "incompetent" — even if the person's mental-health problems have nothing at all to do with being able to understand political issues and voting. Seems like anyone who doesn't fit the ordinary, white-bread mold is suspect of being a liberal.
Republican lawmakers are grabbing at any little advantage to keep non-conservatives away from the polls. In the same civic-minded spirit evinced by our wise leaders in Raleigh, we've come up with more ideas for them to cut down on the number of voters who may not want to hand over the government to giant corporations and archaic Bible thumpers. Here is a partial list. Please feel free to send me your own ideas, too.
* Very short voters, as well as dwarves, who cannot walk under a 2-by-4 swinging from ropes four-and-a-half feet off the ground without being thumped in a head will not be allowed in the polling place. Any short voter who brings a stool to the polls — or is caught wearing lifts in his/her shoes — will be banned from voting for two election cycles.
* Any potential voter who poll workers believe may be gay or lesbian must make-out for at least five minutes with someone from the opposite sex, chosen by poll workers from a pool of hired bisexuals waiting nearby.
* Even if a young African American shows up with a voter ID card, he or she must stand on one foot and sing a full verse of "Dixie" while eating chicken wings before being allowed to vote.
* No non-Christians, vegans or yoga instructors.
* Senior citizens whose cars sport a "Coexist" or "Hands Off Social Security" bumper sticker will be asked to "take a dip" of snuff before voting — like a proper, good ol' countrified geezer. Anyone refusing to do so, or who gags or spits out the snuff, will be ineligible to vote. All senior citizens must come in their own cars so poll workers can check their bumper stickers.
* Latino voters with ID cards must also be able to read the N.C. Constitution in a perfect Myers Park accent, or at least close enough to probably get them into the Junior League.
* Poll workers may select voters at random to identify photographs of famous North Carolina conservatives. Anyone who answers incorrectly will be subjected to tarring and feathering.
* No men wearing berets. Period.
"Seems like anyone who doesn't fit the ordinary, white-bread mold is suspect of being 0x000Aa liberal."