Chris Hayes sat down with The Nation’s Ari Berman for an interview in which the two discussed Scott Walker’s voter reform legislation, and the logic he used to support it, in Wisconsin.
When Walker signed the bill in 2011, he defending it’s affect on disenfranchised voters by noting how necessary it was to prevent voter fraud.
Walker called the law a ‘common sense reform’ that would ‘go a long way to protecting the integrity of elections in Wisconsin.’
The law will requires poll workers to immediately begin asking voters to show state-issued IDs before they vote. But voters won’t be required to actually produce the IDs until next year. In the meantime, voters who come to the polls without IDs will be handed a flyer outlining the new requirement.
The law, however, was struck down in 2014 because it is exactly the opposite of what Walker insisted it was: necessary. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman cited the 2008 by the Supreme Court that states have an interest in preventing voter fraud, but that the Wisconsin voter ID law didn’t fall under that ruling since voter fraud in person is non-existent.
‘The evidence at trial established that virtually no voter impersonation occurs in Wisconsin,’ Adelman ruled in Frank v. Walker. ‘The defendants could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past.’
Despite this, many GOP-led states are implementing laws to make it much more difficult to vote, particularly for certain segments of the population: students, the elderly, African Americans, and the poor, for instance, are less likely to have state identification. The effect this will have on the general election cannot be overstated.
‘The thing I’m terrified [of] is, we’re gonna have one day in November where we’re gonna try to run the experiment with all these new lies without a certain section of the Voting Rights Act,’ Hayes stated. ‘What’s gonna happen?’
‘It’s gonna be much worse in November,’ Berman replied.
Laws meant to combat voter fraud are nothing more than a solution without a problem. The probability of being struck by lightning is greater than the percentage of voter fraud that has actually been prosecuted in this country during any election. The percentage rate is about .00002%.
To see video of the latest interview of Ari Berman by Chris Hayes, click here, but this is not the first time Berman and Hayes have explored this issue. See Berman’s interview with Hayes that explores the issue in even more detail in their look at voter ID laws in North Carolina, see the video below.
Featured image screengrab via YouTube