The op-ed is a reaction to this opinion piece in the USAToday by former interim DCCC chair, Donna Brazile. She makes the case, so obvious to those of us watching, that the GOP is looking to block voters from the polls by forcing them to show photo ID. The voters the GOP is looking to block would, of course, tend to vote for the Democratic Party.
From the AP:
Empowered by last year's elections, Republican leaders in about half the states are pushing to require voters to show photo ID at the polls despite little evidence of fraud and already-substantial punishments for those who vote illegally.Brazile talks Florida:
Democrats claim the moves will disenfranchise poor and minority voters — many of whom traditionally vote for their candidates. The measures will also increase spending and oversight in some states even as Republicans are focused on cutting budgets and decreasing regulations.
The Florida Legislature recently sent an overhaul of the state's election code to Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Among other things, this bill would slash early voting from 14 days down to eight. And it would, according to the non-partisan League of Women Voters, impose fines on voter registration drives for all completed voter registration forms that are not returned to the state within 48 hours — a big reduction from the current 10-day deadline.So Scaife's braintrust talks Florida, too:
Yet another hurdle: Voters who had moved to another county (potentially millions of people) would not be able to update their addresses at the polls on Election Day. Under the proposed law, these voters would have to cast a provisional ballot, which used to be cast when a voter's eligibility was questioned. Such ballots sometimes are not counted. Do we really want to see Florida's 2000 election controversy replayed?
In the states pushing for strict photo ID requirements, Republican lawmakers have argued that voter impersonators need to be stopped. Yet in Ohio or Wisconsin — two swing states where GOP legislatures are pushing for mandates — there is no record of this ever happening.
Why, this has the potential to become a Florida 2000 election redux, the argument goes.Notice, however, the subtle shift in charges. Brazile wasn't talking specifically about voter intimidation. The braintrust is, however. And then they change the subject:
For the record, out of all the allegations of voter harassment in Florida back then, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found just two instances of "perceived" voter intimidation. The U.S. Justice Department found no credible evidence.
But flagrant voter fraud is real. Writing for National Review Online, civil rights commissioner Peter Kirsanow provides some of the more egregious examples:Let me just mention in passing that Peter Kirsanow, the guy quoted by Scaife's braintrust, serves on the advisory board of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Do I need to point out the hundreds of thousands of dollars in Scaife money the NCPPR has received over the years? Do I need to point out how that wasn't mention by Scaife's braintrust?
• A 2001 voter-registration drive among blacks in St. Louis produced 3,800 new voter cards. Not one was legitimate.
• Before the last presidential election, about 140,000 Floridians were registered in multiple jurisdictions.
• Rampant absentee ballot forgeries derailed the 1998 Miami mayoral election.
If, of course, you take a look at the first two examples used by Kirsanow and the Trib, you'll see that they're not about voter fraud. They're about voter registration irregularities. Unless they can show that the multiple jurisdiction data in Florida has led to people voting twice, they're not talking voter fraud here.
And that last one? Xavier Suarez, the winner of that overturned election, is a Republican.