m a r k a n d e y a

The Republican War on Voting

Posted by Brian on April 11, 2008

The American Prospect has a great article on GOP efforts to exaggerate the dangers of voter fraud. While a lot of GOPers run around like chicken littles proocliming the end of the republic, the truth is far different:

Voter fraud is actually less likely to occur than lightning striking a person, according to data compiled by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice. As Lorraine Minnite, a Columbia University professor, observed in the Project Vote report, The Politics of Voter Fraud, “The claim that voter fraud threatens the integrity of American elections is itself a fraud.” In October 2002, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft launched an intensive “Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Initiative” that required all U.S. attorney offices to coordinate with local officials in combating voter fraud. Yet even after the Justice Department declared the war against voter fraud a “high priority,” only 24 people were convicted of illegal voting in federal elections between 2002 and 2005 — and nobody was even charged by Justice with impersonating another voter. (The Justice Department declined to answer questions about more recent fraud prosecutions.) And despite the anti-immigrant frenzy fueling photo-ID laws, only 14 noncitizens were convicted of illegally voting in federal elections from 2002 through 2005 — mostly because of their ignorance of election law.

Why the beef? It’s part of an organized effort to squash voter turnout, which only helps the prospects of Republicans running for office. Thr fruits of this voter suppresion campaign can be seen in Florida, 2000, where a Republican-leaning company was hired by a Republican state official to wipe Florida’s voting rolls of ex-cons, which led to a large number of perfectly innocent African-Americans being disenfranchised, which allowed them to steal the election.

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