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“Voter Fraud Is Rampant”: This Week In Republican Political Lies

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas — last seen threatening the president of the United States with armed revolt — has turned his attention back to suppressing the vote in his home state.

On Monday, the governor took exception to comments President Obama made last week during an interview at the SXSW festival, to the effect that that Texas’s voter turnout is so abysmal in part because the state’s officials “aren’t interested in having more people participate” in elections. As an example, Mr. Obama pointed to Texas’s extremely strict voter-identification law, which lawmakers passed in 2011, but which was invalidated by a federal district judge in 2014.

Governor Abbott rejected Mr. Obama’s premise. “What I find is that leaders of the other party are against efforts to crack down on voter fraud,” he responded. “The fact is that voter fraud is rampant. In Texas, unlike some other states and unlike some other leaders, we are committed to cracking down on voter fraud.”

“Voter fraud is rampant” — it’s the hoariest claim of proponents of voter-ID laws, and the most untrue. As the evidence has shown over and over and over and over and over, there is no voter-impersonation fraud — the only type of fraud that such laws purport to combat.

In 2014, Justin Levitt, an election-law scholar at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, catalogued every instance of voter-impersonation fraud he could find in any election since 2000 — not just prosecutions, but even vaguely credible allegations. He found 31 — over a period in which Americans cast about 1 billion votes in federal, state and local elections.

Meanwhile, tens or hundreds of thousands of otherwise-eligible voters are either blocked from voting or deterred from trying because of these laws.

Back in 2007, a federal appeals court judge named Terence Evans saw this discrepancy plainly, calling voter-ID laws “a not-too-thinly-veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic.” Noting the discrepancy between the alleged harm and the proposed solution, he asked, “Is it wise to use a sledgehammer to hit either a real or imaginary fly on a glass coffee table?”

Nine years later, the hammer still swings. On March 9, the full United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit voted to reconsider the district court’s decision striking down Texas’s voter-ID law.

Republican politicians, who appear more afraid every day of losing their tenuous grip on a changing electorate, could adjust their message to appeal to a broader swath of voters. Instead they are taking the path of least resistance and trying to silence those they’ve already written off.

 

By: Jesse Wegman, Editorial Pages, Editor’s Blog, The New York Times, March 17, 2016

March 21, 2016 - Posted by | Greg Abbott, Voter Fraud, Voter Suppression | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Did you catch the Voter ID fraud summary on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight. It showed a Texas senator who is adamant that Voter fraud exists, but then she is seen on camera committing fraud by ghost voting for absent senators on the floor of the Texas General Assembly. She is clicking the voting machines all around her.

    Like

    Comment by Keith | March 21, 2016 | Reply


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