Republican lawmakers across the nation have engaged in what courts have increasingly found is a systematic effort to suppress the vote, especially when it comes to low-income and minority voters.
Federal court rulings in North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin last month gave credence to the concerns raised by protesters that something shady was going on. But GOP candidates, led by the party’s presidential nominee Donald Trump, continue to insist there are many people who are illegally voting and the problem must be monitored.
Well, a new report is out addressing the issue. The study, conducted by the Carnegie-Knight News21 program, looks at more than 2000 alleged election fraud cases in the U.S. between 2000 and 2012. And its findings are there is no real problem. In fact, it found only 10 cases of voter impersonation, the only kind of fraud that would be prevented by increased voter identification requirements.
So what’s really behind such efforts? It’s a way to depress the turnout of certain populations. And it’s working in many cases, News21 found:
“A 2014 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that laws requiring specific kinds of voter ID in Kansas and Tennessee depressed voter turnout in those states in 2012, with African-Americans and young voters disproportionately affected. Ten state-specific and nationwide studies within the GAO report found that African-Americans and Latinos were always less likely to have the required voter ID than whites, and Native Americans and Asian-Americans were frequently at a similar disadvantage.
“The National Commission on Voting Rights, a civil rights advocacy group, similarly contended in a 2014 report that minority populations were more likely to be disenfranchised by voter ID requirements and reductions in early voting and same-day registration, new restrictions for voter registration drives and limits on the restoration of voting rights for felons who have served their sentences.”
Election results cannot be truly representative of the people unless all of those eligible to vote are able to do so. It’s time for those seeking office to stop raising false concerns that limit voter participation.