Tuesday, October 2, 2012

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Cheat 'Em

It happens so often, it's rote.
The right disenfranchises votes.
But they look like clowns:
Each law gets struck down.
Permit me to take time to gloat.

Throughout the country, Republican legislatures and governors have enacted laws that stifle voters. Under the guise of stopping voter fraud, these laws have the effect of preventing possibly thousands of legal voters from exercising their right and responsibility as a citizen, namely electing those people into office.

Luckily, we have the Constitution, as well as judges who support it. In Pennsylvania, the restrictive voter  ID law has been blocked from implementation, meaning it will not be in effect on Election Day. This follows a pattern emerging across the country.

Why did these laws become so popular recently? Republicans claim it is to suppress voter fraud. That claim is put to the lie, however, when you look at the actual numbers. Since 2000, only 13 people have been convicted of actual voter fraud. Out of the millions upon millions of votes cast, there have only been 13. Why then, all of a sudden, is this such a disastrous problem for our democracy and a dire threat to our freedoms?

In 2011, ALEC, a very far right "think tank", introduced draft legislation that has since been used in multiple states This group, almost single handedly, has tried to disenfranchise potentially millions of their fellow citizens. Any reasons as to why would be purely speculative, but most of the people who would lose the right to vote would most likely vote for a party other than the one they represent.

Voter registration fraud is a much more prevalent issue, and it is one which the Republicans have not at all been trying to stop. In 2008, the right accused ACORN of voter fraud. Some of the people who were paid by ACORN had submitted voter registrations which were fake, and were flagged by the organization as such before they were turned into state offices. The right pounced on this, saying that ACORN was purposefully attempting to falsify voting records in order to help Obama win the presidency.

That same issue has recently come back to bite the Republicans on the ass, as the Republican National Committee has paid millions of dollars to a company that has done precisely the thing of which ACORN was blamed, but neglected to inform the officials that their workers might have added some not quite real names.

Schadenfreude can be a wonderful thing.

1 comment: