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Republican lawmaker suggests only property owners be allowed to vote

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Today a new video was released by Right Wing Watch which shows U.S. Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL) suggesting the right to vote be limited to property owners. Yoho's comments were made when he was running for Congress in the fall of 2012.

Yoho's comments were made as part of discussion he was having with voters at what appears to be church. The audience members complain about the "travesty" of voting via absentee ballots. Another member complains of a "government conspiracy" involving Election Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day,

We used to have a day off to vote, but they took that away from us! For Martin Luther King holiday, and who could argue with that. I think it’s a government conspiracy."

Election Day has never been a national holiday, and there is no connection between the establishment of the Martin Luther King holiday and Election Day. However, rather than respond to that baseless charge Yoho presents his own idea,

I’ve had some radical ideas about voting and it’s probably not a good time to tell them, but you used to have to be a property owner to vote."

Yoho is right when he suggests that at one time only property owners were allowed to vote in the United States. Most recently, the property ownership test was used by states in the South during the Jim Crow era to keep freed slaves from voting. Those rules, and others like them, were eventually done away with as part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Yoho evidently believes the clock needs to be turned back, at least in one manner.

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