A jaw-dropping truth attack from a wealthy donor at a fundraiser for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the Hamptons. She inadvertently explains why it's so horrible for Republicans when ordinary voters turn out and vote:
A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don't think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.
“We've got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who's got the right to vote — they don't understand what's going on. I just think if you're lower income — one, you're not as educated, two, they don't understand how it works, they don't understand how the systems work, they don't understand the impact.”
Poor people … they just don't get why they should vote for the party of more tax breaks for the ultra-rich. That's exactly why Republicans need a strong voter-suppression campaign to have any chance this fall. If a lot of ordinary people vote, the GOP is toast.
But a strong voter suppression campaign is exactly what they've got.
In the past two years at least 10 states have passed laws requiring prospective voters to show a government issued photo id before being allowed to vote. The people most likely to be disenfranchised by these voter id laws are exactly the people that Romney donor is talking about: The poor, minorities, the elderly, those with little education. And it's not to combat election fraud, which is the GOP cover story.
The numbers suggest that the legitimate votes rejected by the laws are far more numerous than are the cases of fraud that advocates of the rules say they are trying to prevent.
Supporters of the laws cite anecdotal cases of fraud as a reason that states need to do more to secure elections, but fraud appears to be rare. As part of its effort to build support for voter ID laws, the Republican National Lawyers Association last year published a report that identified some 400 election fraud prosecutions over a decade across the entire country. That's not even one per state per year.
ID laws would not have prevented many of those cases because they involved vote-buying schemes in local elections or people who falsified voter registrations.
A Pennsylvania Republican legislator listed the voter id law as one of his party's accomplishments … and said it would give the state to Mitt Romney this fall.
Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has embarked on a purge of voter lists (they did the same thing in 2000) with 180,000 voters to be deemed ineligible. Those voters, mostly from groups which lean toward Democrats, are to be presumed ineligible unless they swear to be citizens and provide documentation of citizenship … with only a 30 day response window.
The purge disproportionately affects nonwhite voters, who make up around 82 percent of the list (as compared with 30 percent of Florida's population). While white people make up 70 percent of the state's registered voters, only 16 percent of the list is white. Of the 2,700 listed, around 500 have proven themselves citizens thus far. So far, only around 100 of those 2,700 are ineligible to vote. The fate of the vast majority, however, is still unclear.
Mississippi Republicans may have come up with the slickest voter suppression scheme. They passed a voter-id bill that essentially locks out voters who don't already have a photo-id:
Voters without a photo ID are facing a circular problem: They need a certified birth certificate to get the voter ID, and they need a photo ID to get the birth certificate.
How about Alabama? Yep. Republican supermajorities in our Legislature rammed a photo id law through here as well, even though we already had a very good law which required voters to show identification at the polls. In fact, that old list of acceptable id is still what shows up on the Secretary of State's website because changes to election law in Alabama have to be pre-cleared by the DOJ. Can you hear the GOPers shouting “states' rights” here?
The new voter id requirement here is expected to take effect in 2014, just in time for the gubernatorial and legislative elections. Every Alabama voter will have to show — not just identification — but photo identification. And only certain types of photo id will be accepted. Chances are good that a lot of “common people,” the “college kid[s], the baby sitters, the nails ladies” that rich Romney donor lamented, will be turned away for lack of the special photo id.
Which party doesn't want people to vote? It's not Democrats.