Saturday, August 11, 2012
Obvious Voter Suppression By The GOP
The most common methods employed by the GOP to suppress votes they feel might go to Democrats have been to pass Voter ID laws and to strike voters from voter registration rolls. They pick the voters with foreign sounding names (especially Hispanic) to strike, since polls have shown that in the coming election Hispanics favor Democrats by about a 3 to 1 margin. And they know that minorities and young people (and the elderly) are the groups most likely to not have any photo ID.
The Republicans claim that are just trying to prevent rampant voter fraud, but that is just a thinly-veiled excuse for trying to keep Democrats from voting. The United States has never had a large voter fraud problem. In fact, more people are struck by lightning each year than are found to have fraudulently voted.
The GOP in Ohio has come up with a new way to suppress Democratic votes -- and it removes any doubt that may have remained as to whether Republicans are trying to suppress votes or not. They know that Ohio is a swing state and the winning margin in that state is likely to be a very slim one. So they have abandoned any pretense of fairness in their effort to suppress Democratic votes.
What did they do? Well, they extended the early voting hours in traditionally Republican-leaning counties to include nights and weekends. But when Democratic-leaning counties tried to do the same, the Republican Secretary of State, John Husted, stepped in and stopped it. He knew that in previous elections from 50% to 82% of voters in those Democratic counties had cast their votes on nights and weekends.
It is amazing to me that the Republicans are so bold as to have different voting rules for Republican and Democratic counties, but that is exactly what they are trying to do -- make it easier to vote in a Republican-leaning county and harder to vote in a Democratic-leaning county. Could their efforts to suppress Democratic votes be any more obvious?