‘Suppressing the votes of Democrats is the whole point of these laws and procedures’

Stacy Abrams, former minority leader of the Georgia House, stands a chance of winning the race for governor of that state, which is why the GOP wants to stop people from voting for her. Paul Waldman:

We have to keep saying this over and over: Suppressing the votes of Democrats is the whole point of these laws and procedures. Republicans claim to worry about “voter fraud,” and journalists dutifully repeat those claims because when one party says something over and over you’re supposed to treat it as though it were serious. But everyone knows it’s nonsense. Voter fraud is almost non-existent, and Republicans aren’t motivated by some deeply-held abstract principle about the integrity of elections that they apply whether it helps them or not. It’s just a lie.

It’s also an example of how Republicans, who complain all the time about the stifling hand of big government, use their power to weaponize bureaucracy against people they don’t like. They impose “work requirements” on programs like Medicaid, forcing recipients to navigate a bureaucratic maze in order to maintain their benefits — and if you make a mistake on a form, you can lose your health insurance. Did someone input an “i” in your name when it’s actually an “l”? Sorry, we’re suspending your registration. Haven’t voted in a couple of elections? We’re purging you from the rolls.

Similar problems in North Dakota may have doomed Heidi Heitkamp’s struggle to keep her Senate seat. John and the Roberts Five of the Supremes upheld a lower court’s decision requiring proofs of IDs that the state’s large Native American can’t provide:

According to the website of the Native American Rights Fund, which represents the plaintiffs, many native residents lack residential street addresses because “the U.S. postal service does not provide residential delivery in these rural Indian communities.”As a result, tribal IDs use P.O. boxes, which are not sufficient under North Dakota’s new law—a specification that seems designed to disenfranchise native voters. Hovland’s ruling was in place during the primaries this spring.

Ari Berman has written well about the decades-long effort to suppress people whose vote would put conservatism on the defensive forever. On the Supreme Court sits John Roberts, newly anointed swing vote, among the country’s most fervent opponents of the universal suffrage. His predecessor? William Rehnquist, for whom he clerked, first got conservative attention as part of Operation Eagle Eye. They don’t stop.

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