Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Texas Purging Voters Too

Republicans have a really good story for why they are enacting so many new voting restrictions in many states. Voter fraud. We have to prevent ineligible people--illegal aliens, dead people, felons, fictional people--from voting. So, it is vital that we shorten or eliminate early voting, tighten regulations regarding ID, and purge the rolls.

It sounds good. But the fact of the matter is, actual voter fraud--votes cast by ineligible people--is vanishingly rare in America. It barely happens, and when it does, it is not some organized conspiracy with the intent of rigging an election. So, if there is no pressing need for all of these voting restrictions, and there's no public outrcry, why have there been so many in the last two years? And why is it, that in each and every case, the people most affected by the restrictions are likely Democratic voters? That's a fairly easy question to answer. When voters show up en masse at the polls, Democrats tend to win. Suppressing the vote--almost entirely on one side--makes that less likely. Simple really.

And the galling thing about it (beside the fact that it often works) is that it shows that the GOP doesn't care if they actually win fair and square. They don't care if they only win by rigging the game. To them, a win is a win, dirty or not. For evidence, look to Florida in 2000, when there was another voter purge. Eligible voters were purged in much larger numbers than the margin of "victory" for President Bush. And in a couple of months, they were referring to Gore/Lieberman as "Sore/Loserman." Jeb Bush ordered the purge, and his brother benefited. And if the same thing had happened in Libya or Cuba or Iran, not a soul in the United States would see it the same way.


In Texas, 300,000 Eligible Voters Targeted In Purge

Florida voters are not the only ones who should be worried about whether their state has erroneously purged them from the list of eligible voters; the state of Texas also has a voter purge policy that erroneously targets eligible voters. The Houston Chronicle reports that, in a two year period, 300,000 eligible voters were warned that they may be removed from Texas voter rolls. Texas voter registration rates are already among the lowest in the nation, and one out of every 10 Texas voters’ registration is currently suspended. The almost 1.5 million voters who are suspended could be purged if they fail to vote in two consecutive general elections. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

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