Posted 2 years ago on Aug. 18, 2012, 10:50 a.m. EST by VQkag2
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Rochelle Riley: GOP caught with voter-suppression pants down
Detroit Free Press
We should be ashamed of ourselves.
As November’s presidential election looms, we aren’t really paying attention to a growing movement to keep some people from voting.
Once again, when it’s not us, we don’t care so much. But if any American is not allowed to vote, as happened in the 2000 presidential election, then our entire democracy is a fraud.
GOP-led efforts to combat what they claim is a major issue of voter fraud prompted lawmakers to propose 62 voter photo-ID bills in 37 states. Lawsuits have been filed in numerous cases, most notably in Pennsylvania, where a judge is slated to decide the law’s fate soon. (Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder derailed legislative efforts here to fuel the voter suppression train.)
Here's the problem with the GOP effort: Voter fraud via impersonation is so rare that there have been only 10 cases since 2000, according to a new study released out of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
"Despite the push for strict voter ID laws in a charged partisan and racial debate, the most exhaustive study ever of American election fraud reveals the rate is infinitesimal," according to News 21, the voting rights project conducted by 24 students from 11 universities across the country.
The project found that, since 2000, there had been only case for every 15 million eligible voters.
So this great Republican-led effort to ensure fair elections is based on a fear that, like most political fears, is overblown and possibly fraudulent.
Passing a voter-ID law to prevent voter fraud is like passing a law to prevent black beauty salons from opening on Mondays. For the uninitiated, almost none do.
It’s like passing a law to prevent doctors from operating without gloves or a law to prevent the demolitions of buildings with people in them.
That study, that amazing project that once again affirmed the need for the kind of great journalism that was a part of America’s birth, also found that:
• “Photo ID laws and other new voting restrictions disproportionately affect minorities, students, the disabled and the elderly. "
• “More than half of the state bills proposing photo IDs originated from people affiliated with the conservative, pro-business American Legislativ