Should the poor be allowed to vote?

From The Institute for Southern Studies: Facing South:

By Chris Kromm
September 6, 2011

Last week, right-wing pundit Matthew Vadum created a stir when he argued that — as his piece at American Thinker is titled — “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American.” Here’s how the piece starts:

Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?

Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians. Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.

Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.

Equating “the poor” with criminals? Suggesting the wealthy aren’t “open to bribery?” 45 years after the Supreme Court ruled in the poll tax case Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections that voter qualifications can’t be based on wealth, implying that maybe they should?

Rick Hasen, an election law professor at UCLA-Irvine, summed up the reaction of many: “Back after I puke.”

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