Republicans continue to claim that the purpose of their Voter ID laws is to combat the epidemic of voter fraud. That is hardly likely, because voter fraud actually accounts for a maximum of 1/1000th of 1% of the electorate. Furthermore, in the vast majority of cases where voter fraud has actually been documented, the perpetrator has been a Republican. So what is the real purpose of Voter I D laws? Every once in a while, a Republican official forgets where he is and tells us.
Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Rob Gleason recently suggested that Republicans were boosted in the 2012 election by controversy surrounding a voter identification law that wasn’t yet in effect last November.
Speaking with the Pennsylvania Cable Network in an exchange captured by the state Democratic Party and uploaded to YouTube this week, Gleason was asked if "all the attention drawn to voter ID affected last year’s elections."
"Yeah, I think a little bit," Gleason responded. "We probably had a better election. Think about this, we cut Obama by 5 percent, which was big. … He beat [2008 GOP presidential candidate John] McCain by 10 percent, he only beat [2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt] Romney by 5 percent. I think that probably photo ID helped a bit in that."…
…While Pennsylvania voters were not required to show photo identification in November after a federal judge blocked the law a month before, the state was allowed to proceed with an advertising campaign that critics of the measure argued was misleading. Ads pushing the voter ID law read "Show It" with the tagline "if you have it" in small print… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Huffington Post>
Think of this. If republicans were successfully able to prevent enough legal voters from voting to “cut Obama by 5%” with just the advertising campaign, how many more legal voters would have been deprived of their right to vote, had the law actually gone into effect?
Rachel Maddow covered this story well.
That makes it completely clear that the purpose of Republican Voter ID laws is to keep legal voters, who are more likely to be Democrats, from voting.
Now people commonly ask me, what difference does it make to require someone to have a photo ID? Almost everyone has one. There are three reasons.
At the same time Republicans have enacted such laws, they have made voter IDs more difficult to get for the people they are trying to disenfranchise. They have increased the hours of operation at DMVs where the ID may be obtained in Republican areas, and not only decreased the hours, but also closed locations, in Democratic areas. In those few states where the ID is free to poor people, they have forbidden employees from telling poor people they can get one free. In short, they have gone overboard to unequally apply the law.
The second reason is this. A couple years ago, I lost my wallet, and I wanted to replace my ID. I had to send away to NJ for my birth certificate. They lost my original request. In the end, replacing my photo ID took me over six months and cost me over $100. For those, who would not otherwise need one, obtaining am ID is a big inconvenience, and it amounts to a poll tax on the poor.
The third reason make the most sense of all. It is AbsurdiTEA to spend taxpayer dollars fixing something that isn’t broken.