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POLITICS: ELECTIONS: VOTER SUPPRESSION:
Republicans and Voter Suppression
Republicans and Voter Suppression
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
April 4, 2016
New York Times
A shorter URL for the above link:
Its become an accepted truth of modern politics that Republican electoral prospects go up as the number of voters goes down. Conservatives have known this for a long time, which helps explain their intensifying efforts to make it harder to vote, or to eliminate large numbers of people from political representation entirely.
On Monday, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected one of the more extreme attempts a lawsuit from Texas that aimed to reverse longstanding practice and require that only eligible voters be counted in the drawing of state legislative districts.
This suit was an easy one for the justices to toss out, but Republican lawmakers around the country have already enjoyed plenty of success erecting obstacles between the ballot box and the most vulnerable voters, especially minorities, students and the poor, populations that tend to vote Democratic.
A good example comes from Wisconsin, which is holding its presidential primaries on Tuesday. In 2011, a Republican-controlled statehouse passed, and Gov. Scott Walker signed, the states voter-identification bill, which requires that prospective voters present a government-issued photo ID, like a drivers license or passport.
In 2014, Lynn Adelman, a federal district judge in Wisconsin, struck down the law after finding no evidence of voter fraud. He found that the law would most likely disenfranchise poor and minority voters, who disproportionately lack the required ID, and will prevent more legitimate votes from being cast than fraudulent votes. But a federal appeals court inexplicably reversed that decision and the Supreme Court declined to hear the case last year, allowing the law to go into effect.
The problem, as Judge Adelman and others have documented again and again and again, is that voter-ID laws are a destructive solution to a nonexistent problem. If there were any doubts about the bad faith of these laws, consider this: The Wisconsin law requires the state to educate voters about acceptable forms of ID and how to secure them a particularly important public service for the roughly 300,000 state residents estimated not to have the proper ID. But despite requests from the states nonpartisan Government Accountability Board for $300,000 to $500,000 for that effort, the Legislature provided no funding. Instead, Governor Walker signed a bill in December to dismantle the board..
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