The Associated Press reports that the new stricter voter ID laws being put into place by GOP legislatures in several states, including Florida, are doing exactly what they were meant to do: make it very hard for minorities and those who tend to vote for Democrats cast a ballot.
The numbers suggest that the legitimate votes rejected by the laws are far more numerous than are the cases of fraud that advocates of the rules say they are trying to prevent. Thousands more votes could be in jeopardy for this November, when more states with larger populations are looking to have similar rules in place.
More than two dozen states have some form of ID requirement, and 11 of those passed new rules over the past two years largely at the urging of Republicans who say they want to prevent fraud.
Democrats and voting rights groups fear that ID laws could suppress votes among people who may not typically have a driver’s license, and disproportionately affect the elderly, poor and minorities. While the number of votes is a small percentage of the overall total, they have the potential to sway a close election. Remember that the 2000 presidential race was decided by a 537-vote margin in Florida.
A Republican leader in Pennsylvania said recently that the state’s new ID law would allow Romney to win the state over President Barack Obama.
Supporters of the laws cite anecdotal cases of fraud as a reason that states need to do more to secure elections, but fraud appears to be rare. As part of its effort to build support for voter ID laws, the Republican National Lawyers Association last year published a report that identified some 400 election fraud prosecutions over a decade across the entire country. That’s not even one per state per year.
The only voter fraud that is really going on is what’s happening in state capitals when the Republicans realize that the only way for them to win an election is to steal it.
Kay at Balloon Juice did some research and discovered that getting the proper photo ID to vote in Pennsylvania now requires roughly the same amount of paperwork and documentation as it does to get clearance to enter CIA headquarters in Langley.
But don’t forget ACORN and the New Black Panthers: they were the real threat to democracy, y’know.