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Mike Bryant
Mike Bryant
Attorney • (800) 770-7008

Voter Fraud: Everywhere????????

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The past two elections cycles  have seen bills all over the country concerning the idea of preventing voter fraud.   While on their face they seem pro-consumer,  I mean who could want fraud?   The reality is that the proof continues to mount that these were orchestrated efforts to suppress the vote.   It started with the  George W. Bush Department of Justice and  became a mantra in right-wing circles that voter fraud was rampant, perhaps swinging elections. That there was no real evidence to support it didn’t stop the bills. Led by Hans von Spakovsky, a Republican lawyer who served in the Bush Administration, bill after “unrelated” bill popped up in state legislatures across the country.

Recently, two researchers have added some empirical rigor to the debate: What is going on with this spate of voting restrictions?
These  laws: requiring photo identification, proof of citizenship, regulation of groups who attempt to register new voters, shortened early voting periods, banning same-day voter registration, and increased restrictions on voting by felons all really seem to be designed to suppress the votes of voters more likely to vote Democratic: poor and Black.

As the research concluded:

 “Our results indicate that proposal and passage are highly partisan, strategic, and racialized affairs”.

It seems clear that the Republican Party has engaged in strategic demobilization efforts in response to changing demographics, shifting electoral fortunes, and an internal rightward ideological drift among the party faithful.We situate the most recent round of electoral reforms–far from historically unique–among other measures trumpeted as protecting electoral legitimacy while intended to exclude the marginalized for a particular political party’s advantage. In doing so, our research bolsters and adds contemporary nuance to our understanding of the political conditions that are incentivizing parties to engage in voter suppression.

The research indicates that the worst offenders are: Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio. All states that have been viewed as battleground states in the presidential election, with the exception of Texas, where  you can use your hunting license to vote, but not your student ID.

When you look at all of the advancements in society and the fights that the country has been through–the Civil War, Jim Crow, women’s suffrage, the Voting Rights Act of 1965,  it really looks like there are too many who  are trying to tun back the clock.  That seems so Un-American.

Here in Minnesota, the fight was over voter ID.   In a state where the turnout is historical and always at the tops in the nation.   There were a couple of legislators who actually argued that the numbers would go up with ID’s.  How is that possible?   Do you really believe that there is some person who is deciding not to vote because their  ID isn’t being checked?  If there really was fraud to stop,  where is it?

Thankfully,  Minnesota voters saw through the silly arguments.   Hopefully the rest of the country will also.