New Orleans As long as Republicans realize that their appeal is to a minority segment of the United States population, but fortunately for them, one that votes more steadfastly that Democrats, they will try to erect barriers in the road to voting since we do not have automatic suffrage. You would think that would be matched with constant efforts by the Democrats to expand the electorate and lower barriers, but who knows if that’s true? But no matter, as long as it all works this way, the push and pull to limit and expand voting access will be a constant in the political wars, democracy be damned.
The far right though seems to be having some particularly bad problems with voter identification. Courts seem to be clearer and clearer that it’s just plain not legal.
Recently a Wisconsin federal judge ruled that voter IDs so clearly and overwhelmingly targeted minorities in that state that they ran afoul of the Voting Rights Act in addition to the 14th Amendment.
An Arkansas judge threw out voter IDs as well.
In Pennsylvania after several tries at mandating voter IDs, despite there never having been a single case of in-person voter fraud in the state, the Governor has now announced that he will not appeal his most recent loss in court at trying to establish voter IDs.
It’s hard not to conclude that at least the voter ID part of the voter suppression effort is increasingly a losing cause.
Now no less than Tea Party darling, libertarian Republican, and possible Presidential candidate, Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky, has cautioned his Republican buddies that it’s time to drop the voter ID obsession from their program. He says it’s hurting the party. He even stated in Memphis, where he continues to try to distance himself from earlier remarks he has made indicating tepid support, if not opposition, to previous civil rights legislation, that the voter ID campaign is alienating African-Americans.
Voter suppression is no doubt alive and well, but you don’t need a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowing, and with the momentum gaining in the courts and politicians now feeling the breeze, finally voter identifications, a well-recognized suppression-only effort often called a “solution looking for a problem,” may be fading from the conservative top ten.