The GOP And Voter Disenfranchisement

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

There are two ways to increase your chances of winning an election, get more voters to cast their ballots for you, or get fewer voters to cast their ballots for your opponent. The GOP had decided to pursue the latter option.

There is nothing more sacred in a democracy that the right to vote, so an attack on voting rights is an attack on democracy. That is exactly what is happening in many states across our land. Republican governors and legislatures are passing laws making it extremely difficult for certain Americans to vote.

The Republicans use the illusion of voter fraud to mask their contempt of the Constitution. A report from the Brennan Center for Justice found the incidence of voter fraud at rates such as 0.0003 percent in Missouri and 0.000009 percent in New York. Michael Waldman, executive director of the Brennan Center said  “Voter impersonation is an illusion.” The Brennan report also states:

We are not aware of any documented cases in which individual noncitizens have either intentionally registered to vote or voted while knowing that they were ineligible.

Kris Kobach, the secretary of state of Kansas and longtime conservative activist, has led the voter ID drive in his state. Kobach explained that between 1997 and 2010, Kansas has experienced “221 cases of reported voter fraud.” A dubious claim since not a single criminal conviction has resulted. Over the same period of time, Kansans cast 10 million votes. Even if everyone of the claimed cases of voter fraud were accurate, the rate of fraud would be miniscule.

Numerous surveys show that blacks, Hispanics, the elderly, and the young are less likely like to possess a form of government-issued identification. Except for the elderly, the other demographics are more likely to vote Democratic. The elderly are more likely to vote Republican. In a shameless display of the falsity of their voter fraud motivations, Republicans in Texas simply exempted the elderly from the new voter ID law.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, after signing a voter ID law requiring voters to have a photo ID, then closed DMV offices in Democratic areas and expanded DMV operating hours in Republican areas. South Carolina governor Nikki Haley said she “will go take them to the DMV myself and help them get that picture ID.” Even with carpooling, it would take 7 years, 4 months, 3 weeks and 5 days to take the 178,000 voters to the DMV. That assumes good traffic conditions.

H/T: WaPo, Bloomberg, E.J. Dionne, Think Progress, Daily Kos.

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