Mark Twain said, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” On that note, the myth of widespread voter fraud is streaking across America while the truth of minority voter suppression is just stringing up its Adidas.
It is more likely that someone will be struck by lightning than lose an election by voter fraud. That’s the truth.
Mother Jones Magazine compared voter fraud statistics with UFO sightings and Americans killed by lightning. They found:
23 million citizens, 11% of Americans, could be disenfranchised by photo ID laws. Older voters, low-income, disabled, young, as well as minority voters are in that number.
Strangely, the ACORN scandal wasn’t even about fraud in casting an actual vote. It was about improper registrations to vote. The Congressional Research Service that collects data exclusively for the U.S. Congress, found that there was no proof that anyone who had improperly registered through ACORN ever tried to vote.
Nonetheless, the Republican fantasy is that ACORN not only helped steal the 2008 Election, but the Election of 2012, as well. Unfortunately, ACORN disbanded in 2010. Even though defunct, ACORN is dying a slow death on the lips of Fox News pundits who are still punch drunk from the 2012 election rope-a-dope. As a result of this, 49% of Republicans polled by Public Policy Polling, PPP, believed that Mitt Romney lost the election due to ACORN fraud.
Elections expert David Schultz, Professor of Public Policy at the Hamline University School of Business in St. Paul, Minnesota, stated:
The inquiry into ACORN voter registration practices became the “smoking gun” to prove that black people were thwarting the voting process and shredding the very Constitution itself at a time when an African American was running for president. The Republicans and the Fox news bullhorn pressed into people’s minds the dark image of black people lining up in droves to cheat the electoral process and vote more than once. Media Matters reports:
Analyzing 146 million registered U.S. voters, they found 10 cases of voter impersonation, or one out of about every 15 million prospective voters.
When the Supreme Court recently freed wayward states of federal preclearance for new voting laws, the South rose again. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg gave an interview with the Associated Press and said that it was no surprise that Texas decided to implement a voter ID law hours after the Supreme Court let the southern states off the hook. A photo ID law is simply a weapon for minority disenfranchisement. The southern state took aim as soon as the Supreme Court looked away.
Indiana and Georgia are the two states that have implemented photo ID laws. Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are some of the states pushing for it. According to the DNC Report:
In 2011, Republicans have advanced photo ID legislation in at least 35 states. The report concluded that if these 35 states enact a photo ID law, they collectively will spend at least $276 million, and possibly as much as $828 million, in the first four years alone.
America has gotten mean. It’s a country of haves and have-nots. It’s a place where justice is slanted toward the privileged. It’s a place where a Party unwilling to address the issues of black and brown people, tries to take away a franchise soaked in the blood and tears of their ancestors.
The funny thing is that with Republican Steve King’s recent “cantaloupe” comment demonizing Hispanics, the conservative obsession to legislate women’s wombs, their business-as-usual racism toward African Americans, and heartless obstruction of money to Hurricane Sandy victims, the Party with the pointy tin foil hats will be lucky to see the Oval Office when hell has a Titanic iceberg. Be careful Republicans. That slow, steady drip of injustice may be breaking a dam protecting the rights of America’s “least of these,” but the flood is coming your way.