Craig Newmark is Fighting Back Against Vote Suppression. Here's What He Wants You to Know.
From 2011-2014, Daniel Honan was the Managing Editor at Big Think. Prior to Big Think, Daniel was Vice President of Production for Plum TV, a niche cable network he helped launch in 2002. The production team he oversaw won over two dozen Emmy awards. Daniel has created numerous shows and documentaries for television, and his film credits include Stealing the Fire, a documentary on the black market for nuclear weapons technology.
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Do you remember the scene in the The Breakfast Club in which Brian, the lovable geek played by Anthony Michael Hall, is asked what he would need a fake I.D. for?
"So I can vote," he answers.
That joke was funny in 1985. Today, Brian might very well be accused of taking part in some sort of ACORN-led conspiracy to rig the vote and take over the world. And yet, some very good work has been done by groups such as the Brennan Center for Justice, League of Women Voters, Rock the Vote, and Voto Latino to set the facts straight on this issue. Let's consider a few of these facts.
Between 2000 and 2007 there were:
That right, nine! As in there are nine other dorks like Brian out there. And yet, the reaction has been completely disproportionate. Consider this number:
That's the number of laws that have been proposed to make it harder for U.S. citizens to vote in the 2012 election. Craig Newmark, the Internet entrepreneur who created Craig's List, says when he learned about current voter suppression efforts he was shocked because it went against "everything I had learned in Civics class." So Newmark has created the following infographic to visualize what has been going on. Vote suppression efforts have included things like:
As Newmark's infographic shows, ideas such as voter I.D. laws are not only expensive, they could disenfranchise as many as 5 million Americans in the 2012 election.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan
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