The strategy behind voter ID laws
The New York Times
When Korean War veteran Floyd Carrier, 86, tried to vote in Texas several years ago, he handed his Department of Veteran Affairs card to the registrar—and was turned away, said Carol Anderson. He’d used that ID for more than 50 years, but Texas had passed a law that required voters to show a state-approved ID with photo, and he didn’t have one. “I wasn’t a citizen no more,” Carrier said. Denying people like Carrier the right to vote “has been a central electoral strategy for Republicans,” as they use voter ID laws to screen out blacks, Hispanics, the poor, and the young. Multiple studies have proven that “there is no epidemic of illegal voting,” and that, in fact, it is vanishingly rare. But Republicans fear that the country’s changing demographics will doom them. So they have created a concerted strategy to “block people of color from the ballot box.” In 2000, strenuous Republican efforts to purge voter rolls of blacks and interfere with the Florida recount led to George W. Bush’s victory by 537 votes. That victory taught Republicans to “lie without shame” about voter fraud, and to relentlessly pursue purges and laws designed to turn certain citizens into nonentities.