The Cutting Edge of Power Politics, Jim Crow-style

Racist Pat McCory, Gov. NC

N.Carolina Governor and racist Pat McCrory

The package would take effect in 2016. It requires voters to present government-issued photo IDs at the polls and shortens early voting by a week, from 17 days to 10. It also ends same-day registration, requiring voters to register, update their address or make any other needed changes at least 25 days ahead of an election. A high school civics program that registers tens of thousands of students to vote each year in advance of their 18th birthdays has been eliminated. Talking Points Memo, August 13-2013

The question is: how much voter fraud is there in North Carolina? In-person fraud based on a voter misrepresenting his or her identity is squashed by voter ID laws. From this one would suspect such fraud is a big problem in North Carolina.

Of course, it isn’t a problem at all. The scope of this particular bill is telling. There is no reason to candy coat the intentions behind the explicit targeting of this new law. North Carolina seems hellbent on returning to the 1850s.

GOP paranoia

North Carolina races to the bottom!

There isn’t enough evidence to plausibly argue “voter fraud” anymore. And arguing “voter integrity” is a tough sell, even to the masses, when you are actively precluding registered voters from casting a ballot. So now the argument to justify voter suppression has devolved to this: Because blacks are no longer killed when they try to register to vote, because many more vote now than voted 50 years ago, “things have changed” enough in the South to permit states to enact discriminatory laws that threaten minority votes in more subtle ways. The intended result is the same — disenfranchisement — but the method of getting there has a more sterile and bureaucratic visage. In this, Southern lawmakers are demonstrating to Justice Kennedy and everyone else that they indeed understand fully their “heritage” and their “history, its triumphs and its mistakes” and have learned from them. Fifty years after Birmingham, they have learned once again how to use the law as a weapon and not a shield against minority citizens within their midst. Andrew Cohen; ESquire-Politics; North Carolina Voting Bill – Justice Kennedy Has To Answer For North Carolina

Voter fraud convictions represent a 1 in 10 million failure to protect the integrity of the vote. I recently heard for the first time the new argument on behalf of making voting harder: actual voter fraud is undetectable and so it is wide-spread, even if there is no evidence. This new rationale leans heavily into territory the GOP owns, such as: the transvaginal probe being for the sake of the woman’s heath; teaching the controversy of biological origins; certainty about shari’a being the first foothold of the new caliphate here in the USA; and, the whole shebang constituting supply side economics.

In other words, the rationale is irrational and, fundamentally, nonsensical. I suppose it’s simply obvious advocates of suppressing legal voting cannot admit the obvious actual reasons for it being necessary to make voting more difficult.

Still, it is easy to fashion a forthright response if some Republican were to ask me to do so–on their behalf. It would go like this: “Elections are battles with great powers at stake, and in a grown up game for power you do everything possible to win.” No Republican will ever confess as much–in public.

Racism, gerrymandering, state’s rights, nullification, and the Southern Strategy become once again fashionable in the GOP. If you know a Republican, ask him or her if they would like to see every eligible voter exercise their right to vote. Then see if he or she will fall back on election integrity, or, be honest.

Progressive Pulse – North Carolina
ACLU – North Carolina
Brennan Center For Justice – Voting Rights
ACLU – Voting
Fair Vote – The Center For Voting and Democracy – Voting Rights
Election Law Blog (Rick Hasen)

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