Republicans love to talk about freedom, democracy, and other red, white, and blue terms they believe will motivate their base to go out and vote when election day rolls around. Yet it’s these same Republicans who then turn around and pass restrictive voter ID laws designed for the sole reason of limiting who can vote when the polls are open.
The perfect example of this can be found in North Carolina. When the GOP-controlled North Carolina legislature and Republican Governor Pat McCrory weren’t busy passing bills to restrict who can use certain public restrooms, they also found time to pass one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the country. They say it’s to put an end to voter fraud, which was virtually nonexistent even before the legislation went into effect.
North Carolina’s law, which was summarized by the New York Times, just passed a major legal hurdle, with a federal judge ruling in favor of the state. As the Times reported:
‘The opinion, by Judge Thomas D. Schroeder of Federal District Court in Winston-Salem, upheld the repeal of a provision that allowed people to register and vote on the same day. It also upheld a seven-day reduction in the early-voting period; the end of preregistration, which allowed some people to sign up before their 18th birthdays; and the repeal of a provision that allowed for the counting of ballots cast outside voters’ home precinct.
‘It also left intact North Carolina’s voter identification requirement, which legislators softened last year to permit residents to cast ballots, even if they lack the required documentation, if they submit affidavits.’
Shortly after Judge Schroder’s ruling, Governor McCrory decided to take a victory lap, so he issued this statement:
‘This ruling further affirms that requiring a photo ID in order to vote is not only common-sense, it’s constitutional. Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and thankfully a federal court has ensured our citizens will have the same protection for their basic right to vote.’
Then again, boarding an airplane and buying Sudafed aren’t exactly basic tenets of our democratic system of government, now are they? Yes, you do indeed have to show ID before you purchase any drug containing pseudoephedrine, and I don’t think many people you surveyed would have a problem with that law. But to equate making meth with voting is disingenuous and just plain ridiculous.
Republicans don’t want some people–minorities, the poor–to vote. They could at least be honest enough to admit it and not try to make false equivalencies.
For more on the North Carolina voter ID law, watch this report: