The Real Way Republicans Plan to Rig Elections and Disenfranchise Voters

The last several years these new voter ID laws have often made headlines.  Most notably because they tend to target voters that tend to vote for Democrats.  And since the Supreme Court overturned parts of the Voting Rights Act, Republican controlled states have wasted no time passing new laws that seek to rig elections to favor Republican candidates.

And spare me this nonsense about “voter fraud.”  It hardly exists.  In the extremely rare cases that it does, it seems that Republican voters are often the ones busted for it.

But these moves to require a government issued ID before someone is allowed to vote are just smokescreens Republicans are using to try to prevent certain voters that don’t often vote for them from being able to vote at all.

Because while Republicans can’t specifically target voters who tend to vote for Democrats, they can make it more difficult to obtain an ID.

They can do things like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker did when he made plans to close up to 10 DMV offices.  Why not raise the price of an ID while you’re at it?  Oh, and those free IDs some states offer for people below a certain income bracket, I’d expect to see some of those programs slowly begin to vanish.

You need a birth certificate to get an ID, right?  Well, why not make it more difficult to obtain a copy of one?  That would almost assuredly deter some people from voting.

Restricting the hours that these offices operate in the name of “spending cuts” should suffice as a great excuse to make it more difficult for people to get the proper legal identification to vote.

And we all know how Republicans love spending cuts.

Though let’s not forget how many of these voter ID laws make it extremely difficult, if not nearly impossible, for young Americans in college to vote.  Often requiring a specific amount of time living in an area in order to vote.  Which is difficult for some students living far from home at school for only 9-10 months out of the year.  Especially when you consider elections often happen during the school year, when students aren’t back home where they could vote.

Then there’s what we’ve already seen in some of these states (Florida made headlines in 2012) where early voting hours have been drastically cut.  Can someone logically explain to me how that isn’t a blatant red flag exposing the true intentions of Republicans?  How do you justify reducing the days allowed for someone to vote?

Here’s a rule everyone should live by: We should always vote against anyone, or any party, who’s actively trying to make it more difficult for Americans to vote.

Seems pretty simple, right?  If someone is trying to keep certain people from voting, they’re basically trying to rig elections.

It’s bad enough an embarrassingly low number of Americans vote each election cycle.  No person, or party, should be trying to make it more difficult for anyone to exercise their Constitutional right.

Then there’s always these “voter purges.”  You know, where people are “purged” from voting rolls (sometimes preventing them from being able to vote).  Like the one in Florida passed by Governor Rick Scott that an appeals court found to be in violation of federal law.

Because nothing seems corrupt at all about a Republican governor purging thousands of voters from voting rolls in a swing state just before a presidential election, right?

See, it’s not really about IDs.  Having proper identification for Republicans is really just a smokescreen they’re using to facilitate other methods to prevent people from voting.

Blatant attempts to block voters from voting are easy.  Closing down a DMV here or there, limiting their hours or messing with fees – these can all be “justified” by simply claiming budget cuts were necessary.

And for any conservative who might chalk this up to “typical liberal propaganda,” just look at what conservatives have done with abortion.  They can’t directly ban abortion, as it’s Constitutionally protected.

So what have they done?

They’ve passed laws that restrict when an abortion can take place.  This, of course, closes the window on how long a woman has to have an abortion.  In many states (I live in one of them) they’ve passed such strict regulations clinics must meet in order to perform an abortion (all in the name of “women’s safety,” of course) that many abortion clinics are forced to shut down.

Some legislation has targeted funding that goes to organizations like Planned Parenthood.  Because, to many conservatives, all Planned Parenthood does is provide abortions.

Other states have tried (and some successfully) to institute embarrassing, or unwanted, probes or sonograms hoping to “shame” (trust me I hate using that word, but it fits here) women into not having an abortion.

Again, since they can’t directly ban abortions, they’ve passed legislation that makes it nearly impossible for a woman to have one.

It’s the same tactics they’re using with these voter ID laws.  The ID itself is just a front for their ultimate goal of using back alley legislation that will target voters who usually don’t vote for Republicans.

Just ask Mississippi where abortion is legal, yet it’s nearly impossible to have one due to the state having a grand total of one abortion clinic.

Now I know for many this isn’t “breaking news.”  It’s just a topic I haven’t seen in the news in quite some time but it’s something I’m seeing pop up in smaller stories that aren’t being picked up the same way they were a couple of years ago.  I’ve also recently ran across some people in the last several days who seemed so focused on the ID aspect of these voter ID laws that they never think about the less obvious methods Republicans might use to disenfranchise voters.

Because “(fill in state name) passes new voter ID laws” makes the headlines, but these smaller stories about DMV closures and more restrictive voting policies often don’t.

And that’s where Republicans are really going to disenfranchise voters.  The ID itself, that’s just their loophole they’ll use for other legislation that will really target liberal voters.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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