The Republican Party’s electoral philosophy: Cheating wins

The explosion and enforcement of restrictive voter ID laws make this one thing very clear

Rick Scott, Karl Rove, Rick Perry (Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite/LM Otero/Rich Pedroncelli/Photo montage by Salon)
Rick Scott, Karl Rove, Rick Perry (Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite/LM Otero/Rich Pedroncelli/Photo montage by Salon)

Last week, the Supreme Court upheld a law that could disenfranchise 600,000 Texans. But the effects of the law won’t fall equally: African-Americans and Latinos are 305 percent and 195 percent less likely (respectively) to have the necessary forms of identification than whites. The Republican party is increasingly unpopular, and relies almost exclusively on white voters. The charts below show the 2008 if only white men voted and if only people of color voted (source). Since 2008, people of color become a growing share of the voting population while the GOP has, if anything, moved further to the right. It has further alienated voters of color with racist attacks and laws. But as they say: if you can’t beat ‘em, make sure they don’t vote. Over the last four years the Republicans have gone through elaborate attempts to make sure populations that don’t support them don’t get a chance to vote.

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Since 2006, Republicans have pushed through voter ID laws in 34 states. Such laws did not exist before 2006, when Indiana passed the first voter ID law. The laws were ostensibly aimed at preventing voter fraud, but a News21 investigation finds only 2,068 instance of alleged fraud since 2000 (that is out of over 146 million voters). They estimate that there is one accusation of voter fraud for every 15 million voters. As Mother Jones notes, instances of voter fraud are more rare than UFO sightings. There have been only 13 instances of in-person voter fraud (the sorts that a voter ID law would reduce), while 47,000 people claim to have seen a UFO.

On the other hand, research by the Brennan Center for Justice finds that, “as many as 11 percent of eligible voters do not have government-issued photo ID.” Those who do not have ID are most likely to be “ seniors, people of color, people with disabilities, low-income voters, and students” — i.e.. people who vote Democratic (chart source).

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There is now a large literature studying the effects of voter ID laws. James Avery and Mark Peffley find, “states with restrictive voter registration laws are much more likely to be biased toward upper-class turnout.” The GAO finds that voter ID laws reduce turnout among those between ages 18-23 and African-Americans (two key Democratic constituencies). A 2013 study finds that the proposal and passage of voter ID laws are “highly partisan, strategic, and racialized affairs.” They write, “Our findings confirm that Democrats are justified in their concern that restrictive voter legislation takes aim along racial lines with strategic partisan intent.” [Italics in original] The authors also find that increases in low-income voter turnout triggered voter ID laws. A more recent study finds, “where elections are competitive, the furtherance of restrictive voter ID laws is a means of maintaining Republican support while curtailing Democratic electoral gains.” That is, not all Republican legislatures propose voter ID laws — only those that face strong competition from Democrats. If Republicans are concerned about election integrity, why do they only pass voter ID laws when they’re about to lose an election? Because they’re cheaters.

Voter ID laws are also racially motivated. A recent study finds that voters are significantly more likely to support a voter ID law when they are shown pictures of black people voting than when shown white people voting. One voter ID group had a picture on their website showing a black inmate voting and a man wearing a mariachi outfit — clearly playing off racial stereotypes.

Read more at Salon

Author: konigludwig

progressive social democrat, internationalist, conservationist

4 thoughts on “The Republican Party’s electoral philosophy: Cheating wins”

  1. I really dislike the new voting laws in FL. I spent a year helping people get the documents they needed. Expensive, slow, and women are targeted. I had to find my fathers death certificate. He died when I was 17 but my mother needed the paperwork. Cheating like this is too low.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, gen, it just goes to show you how little the Republican leadership actually cares about traditional American values. The idea that a free people should have the right to choose their own representatives is the foundation of our democracy. To conspire to to undermine that right is beyond contemptible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is clear that the GOP does not care about American values. The insidiousness of voter suppression is that, unless you spell it out for people, they don’t understand how it works now in GOP controlled states. Some people refuse to believe it exists: most people don’t like to question authority. But there’s a pervasive intent growing in FL that votes will be suppressed at all cost by the states controlled by the GOP. This type of thinking is dangerous and short-sighted; and makes the Republican party targets for future litigation and political attack. These types of laws also take our country back to a place we don’t want to go. Too many fought and died for the right to vote. I know that I am angry and I will never get over this betrayal.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a great comment, gen. In the short term, these voter suppression efforts may have limited success, but as we saw in 2012, there is a fierce determination on the part of American voters to have their voices heard. The disenfranchised will not soon forget this Republican betrayal.

    Liked by 1 person

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