The legislation moving through the Senate and House is breathtaking for its naked grab for power. The Senate bill, SB 956, and its companion legislation moving through the House would make it harder for voters to have their voices heard and easier for the major political parties to manipulate the outcome of the electoral process. It would ban retirement center and neighborhood association cards from the forms of identification now acceptable to vote. So much for seniors who do not drive and whose military days are far behind them. Voters who moved 29 days before an election would be forced to cast a provisional ballot rather than a regular one. Third-party groups that register voters would have to submit new voter registration applications as soon as 48 hours after the form was completed.
The bill would make it harder for a citizens’ referendum to reach the ballot and easier for elected officials to keep one off. It would limit who could act as a poll watcher to political parties and candidates and create a gag zone outside polling places that bars voters from speaking to the press or elections observers.