The Democratic Strategist has a piece entitled “GOP Voter Suppression Scams Spreading Fast“. It’s mostly a discussion (and reposting) of a Washington Post op-ed by Katrina vanden Heuval. My favorite bit:
The i.d. campaigns are based on a particularly flimsy excuse, the myth of “voter fraud” as a significant problem in the U.S. As vanden Heuval explains,
…Voter fraud, in truth, is essentially nonexistent. A report from the Brennan Center for Justice found the incidence of voter fraud at rates such as 0.0003 percent in Missouri and 0.000009 percent in New York. “Voter impersonation is an illusion,” said Michael Waldman, executive director of the Brennan Center. “It almost never happens, and when it does, it is in numbers far too small to effect the outcome of even a close election.”Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) disagrees. He argues that voter fraud is a serious problem that requires serious action. But as proof, Kobach cites just “221 incidents of voter fraud” in Kansas since 1997, for an average of just 17 a year. As a Bloomberg editorial points out, “During that same period, Kansans cast more than 10 million votes in 16 statewide elections. Even if the fraud allegation were legitimate . . . the rate of fraud would be miniscule.”
Which, if Kobach knows how to use a calculator, works out to a fraud rate of .0000221.
My read is that these laws are vulnerable under the VRA, and a organized movement is required to target each and every state law effectively designed to limit access to the vote by some socio-economic groups at the next election. What would be ideal is what commenter Joe from Lowell points out here: “What this country needs is a Voting Rights Amendment, making universal access to the polls an individual, constitutional right for all adult citizens.” A safer bet this morning is on the Seattle Mariners making the playoffs in 2011.
The TDS post is worth a look if you’re feeling too chipper today and require a suitable downer.