Texas’ new ID law permits voters to use concealed-handgun licenses as proof of identity, but not state university IDs. WHOSE VOTE do you suppose Texas is trying to suppress — Republicans or Democrats? This is a travesty of our constitution and the rights of our citizens. Here are some voter suppression facts from Mother Jones:
BLOCK THE VOTE
- Since 2001, nearly 1,000 bills that would tighten voting laws have been introduced in 46 states.
- 24 voting restrictions have passed in 17 states since 2011. This fall, new laws could affect more than 5 million voters in states representing 179 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
- In the past two years, 5 battleground states (Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) have tightened their voting laws.
- As of April, 74 restrictive voting laws were on the table in 24 states.
- Since 2011, 34 states have introduced laws requiring voters to show photo ID, and 9 states have passed photo ID laws, affecting 3.8 million voters.
- 2.2 million registered voters did not vote in 2008 because they didn’t have proper ID.
- Last year, 12 states introduced laws requiring birth certificates or other proof of citizenship to vote; 3 passed.
- Only 48 percent of women have a birth certificate with their current legal name on it.
- Texas’ new ID law permits voters to use concealed-handgun licenses as proof of identity, but not state university IDs.
DISCOURAGE NEW VOTERS
- 80 percent of the 75 million eligible voters who did not take part in the 2008 election were not registered to vote.
- In 2008, more than 1/3 of voters cast ballots before Election Day. In 2011, 5 states passed bills to restrict early voting.
- States with Election Day registration have 7 to 12 percent greater turnout than states without. Last year, 5 states introduced bills that eliminate Election Day registration.
- 12 percent of minority voters report registering through voter drives, twice the rate of white voters. In 2011, Florida and Texas passed laws making registration drives much harder to organize.
- Florida state Sen. Mike Bennett, a supporter of the tougher voter registration law, said, “I don’t have a problem making it harder. I want people in Florida to want to vote as bad as that person in Africa who walks 200 miles across the desert. This should not be easy.”
IN SEARCH OF STOLEN VOTES
- While defending its precedent-setting photo ID law before the Supreme Court, Indiana was unable to cite a single instance of voter impersonation in its entire history.
- A 2005 report by the American Center for Voting Rights claimed there were more than 100 cases of voter fraud involving 300,000 votes in 2004. A review of the charges turned up only 185 votes that were even potentially fraudulent.
- In support of a voter ID law, Kansas Secretary of State (and the legal brains behind a slew of anti-immigration laws) Kris Kobach cited 221 incidents of voter fraud in the state between 1997 and 2010. Yet those cases produced just 7 convictions—none related to impersonating other voters.
- Last December, Republican National Committee ChairmanReince Priebus declared that Wisconsin is “absolutely riddled with voter fraud.” In fact, the state’s voter fraud rate in 2004 was 0.0002 percent—just 7 votes.
- In 2008, John McCain said fraudulent registrations collected by ACORN were “one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” The Congressional Research Service found no proof that anyone improperly registered by ACORN tried to vote.
- Voting while ineligible: 18
- Voting multiple times: 5
- Registration fraud: 3