by Jeremy Leaming
Last fall Risa L. Goluboff and Dahlia Lithwick nailed the slew of new onerous voter ID laws in a piece for Slate detailing the “ugly parallels between Jim Crow and modern vote-suppression laws.”
The two noted that a few other commentators had also noticed the parallels between these new laws and ugly era of Jim Crow. The majority of the voter ID laws make it much more difficult to vote, and many have been enacted by Republican-controlled legislatures.
As this blog has noted time and again, the proponents of these laws claim the country’s elections are ridden with voter fraud and that the laws are only about protecting the integrity of the democratic process. But this blog has also pointed out the wobbly evidence of voter fraud. And in their piece for Slate, Goluboff and Lithwick say that voter fraud is a “problem that is statistically rarer than heavy-metal bands with exploding drummers.”
Loyola Law School Professor Justin Levitt in a recent ACS Issue Brief also took on the claim that these new voter suppression laws were justified by rampant fraud, saying there are more reports yearly of UFOs.
The Huffington Post’s Dan Froomkin wonders why many journalists feel compelled to trumpet or give credence to proponents’ claims of voter fraud. “Voter fraud simply isn’t a problem in this country,” he writes. “Studies have definitively debunked the voter fraud myth time and again."
What do exist, Froomkin notes, are the blatant efforts to use photo ID laws to depress voter turnout, mainly among communities of color, low-income people, students and the elderly. These laws make it extremely difficult to obtain the proper form of ID. A report by The Brennan Center for Justice shows just how costly it is for people in a slew of states to attain the proper ID.