Putting GOP voter-suppression efforts in perspective
Eugene Robinson offers a HANDY SUMMARY of efforts by Republicans to mount “the most concerted campaign to prevent or discourage citizens from exercising their legitimate voting rights since the Jim Crow days of poll taxes and literacy tests.”
He even addresses a question I’m asked by certain Applesauce readers every time I raise this subject:
In theory, what could be wrong with demanding proof of identity? In the real world, plenty.
As Republican strategists are fully aware, minorities are overrepresented among the estimated 11 percent of citizens who do not have a government-issued photo ID. They are also painfully aware that, in 2008, President Obama won 95 percent of the African American vote and 67 percent of the Hispanic vote. It doesn’t take a genius to do the math: If you can reduce the number of black and Latino voters, you improve the Republican candidate’s chances.
If photo ID laws were going to be the solution, though, Republicans had to invent a problem. The best they could come up with was The Menace of Widespread Voter Fraud.
It’s a stretch. Actually, it’s a lie. There is no Widespread Voter Fraud. All available evidence indicates that fraudulent voting of the kind that photo ID laws would presumably prevent — someone shows up at the polls and votes in someone else’s name — just doesn’t happen.