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Congress Set To Manipulate The Voting Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National League Of Women Voters
www.lwv.org

Congress Set To Manipulate The Voting Process
H.R. 4844 Discriminates Against Legal Voters, Discourages Participation

Washington, D.C. – National League president Mary G. Wilson today voiced serious concern about the latest congressional action on the so-called “Federal Election Integrity Act” (H.R. 4844), characterizing these plans as “a manipulation of the voting process.” The legislation would require eligible citizens to present government-issued, current and valid photo identification at the polling place in 2008 and proof of citizenship by 2010.

“This is an attempt to politicize the voting process by erecting barriers to keep many eligible, legal voters from participating,” said Mary G. Wilson, national League president. “Congress should not be playing politics with our right to vote.”

“Some would have you believe that this legislation addresses voter identity fraud,” Wilson stated. “But there remains a lack of evidence of instances in which voters misrepresent their identity at the polls.”

“Behind this political smokescreen are restrictions that will disproportionately impact those who are least likely to have a current photo ID: the elderly, young people, people of color, rural voters and others,”said Wilson. “The League hopes members of Congress will do the right thing and vote against this legislation and a return to the dark days of exclusion – such as literacy tests and poll taxes.”

The League has sent two letters to members of Congress over the past few months strongly urging them to oppose H.R. 4844.

“In modern society it is easy to assume that everyone has appropriate ID or can prove their citizenship. But it is more difficult than one might think,” Wilson said. “The costs in time and money of obtaining proof of citizenship and photo ID would clearly discourage voter participation.”

“We have spent most of the last century breaking down barriers to citizen voter participation and the right to vote,” concluded Wilson. “League members will continue to do what it takes to protect eligible voters from new, discriminatory obstacles in the 21st Century.”

Reporters may contact Maggie Duncan (mduncan @ lwv.org or 202-263-1332) to set up media interviews with League President Mary G. Wilson.

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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages. With more than 86 years of experience and 850 local and state affiliates, the League is one of America’s most trusted grassroots organizations.

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