Gov. Christie continues his best impression of Two-Face.
On the one hand, he’s all reasonable in dealing with the Ebola outbreak, and put together a team of people to address potential cases in the state, etc. That’s a good thing, and the more valid information is put out in a timely basis, the less likely the rumor mongers will be able to spread their noxious claims (they’ll still do it, but the facts will be out there).
On the other, Gov. Christie wants GOPers to win, so that they can control the mechanisms of voting.
Christie stressed the need to keep Republicans in charge of states — and overseeing state-level voting regulations — ahead of the next presidential election. Christie made his push at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event in Washington, D.C., where he ran down a list of states he’s spent time in recently as chairman of the Republican Governors Association questioning whether a Republican presidential nominee would rather have the incumbent GOP governor in power or the Democratic challenger.
“Would you rather have Rick Scott in Florida overseeing the voting mechanism, or Charlie Crist? Would you rather have Scott Walker in Wisconsin overseeing the voting mechanism, or would you rather have Mary Burke? Who would you rather have in Ohio, John Kasich or Ed FitzGerald?” he asked.
I had to do a double take too on that, but that’s what he said, and the implications are clearly disturbing and reveal what the GOP really wants to do - they want to depress turnout and minimize the rights of those who can’t easily get to the polls, or that once they’re there, make sure that they can’t vote because more roadblocks are put up in their way.
He’s hardly alone, by the way.
A clerical error or typo is not proof of voter fraud. Clearing voter rolls of duplicates or deceased persons is not voter fraud either. It’s not proof that voter fraud has occurred either.
In studies of actual or possible voter fraud of the kind that Voter ID bills might stop, researchers found out of more than 1 billion votes cast, only 31 suspected incidents were identified where voter fraud may have occurred - that’s suspected cases and those that were prosecuted.
Despite how rarely in-person fraud could determine an election, even if it were common, Republican politicians and conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation have put an emphasis on new voter restrictions. After the Supreme Court blocked Wisconsin’s law late last week, Gov. Scott Walker (R) defended the law by saying, in essence, that its effect on outcomes didn’t matter. “It doesn’t matter if there’s one, 100 or 1,000,” he said during a gubernatorial debate. “Amongst us, who would be that one person who would like to have our vote canceled out by a vote that was cast illegally?”
Last week, we reported on a Government Accountability Office report indicating that some 100,000 fewer people voted in Kansas and Tennessee due to the introduction of voter ID laws in those states. The decline was weighted more heavily toward younger voters and black voters — or, to be clear, more-Democratic voters (the kind Democrats accuse the laws of targeting). In an editorial Monday, the New York Times attacked the “big lie” central to voting restrictions, that “there is virtually no in-person voter fraud; the purpose of these laws is to suppress voting.”
Levitt, author of the Wonkblog piece, also prepared a lengthy report on voter fraud in 2007 for the Brennan Center for Justice. It whittles down common stories about thousands of fraudulent votes into the reality that those reports usually stem from haphazard comparisons of voter rolls with population data. Levitt’s report also emphasizes the role historical allegations of fraud play in coloring the current debate; indeed, the Heritage Foundation’s Web site uses examples from 1844 and 1948 to demonstrate that fraud exists. Many proponents of voter ID laws also cite absentee ballot fraud, despite the fact that these more-plentiful examples wouldn’t be affected by voter ID laws.
The fact is that voter fraud is overblown as an issue by Republicans and conservatives because their true intent is to depress turnout. They’ve admitted as much in multiple incidences.
Studies have repeatedly shown that it depresses turnout.
In Tennessee alone, had the Voter ID law not been in place, 88,000 more people would have been able to vote. That’s disenfranchisement of 88,000 people who would otherwise have been eligible to vote.
That’s a far greater concern than the perceived protection that Voter ID might offer.
Moreover, Voter ID does nothing to protect against other kinds of voter fraud - the kind that can occur when an individual or group of individuals control the mechanisms of voting.
When considering that the margin of victory in many elections is in the thousands of votes, the ability to suppress tens of thousands of votes through Voter ID has the ability to swing elections in a way that Voter ID fraud prevention never could.