Fox Panel Uses Increased African American Turnout to Pretend Voter Suppression Doesn't Exist
As CNN's Roland Martin noted back in November of last year, the GOP's voter suppression efforts may have likely backfired on them and ended up fueling the increased turnout we saw at the polls during the last presidential election.
Now the talking heads on Fox's The Journal Editorial Report decided to take that news one step further and turn it into upside down land. In Fox world, increased voter turnout by minorities proves that you didn't actually suppress any minority voters, instead of assuming that minority voter turnout would have been even higher if they weren't suppressed. And in Fox world, as long as the percentage of minority voters went up year after year, it's proof that no one is keeping them from voting.
To no one's huge surprise other than the eighty year olds who regularly watch their programming, the facts fly in the face of those assertions. The encouraging fact that people are both onto and fed up with Republicans trying to make sure as few people vote as possible and are pushing back hard against those efforts makes it no less disgusting, wrong and potentially illegal that they are doing what they can to keep people from voting.
Much of the criticism of the voting restrictions in North Carolina have focused on Republican efforts to suppress African-American and low-income voter participation, but efforts to target students -- who tend to be more progressive -- are a key provision of the new state law.
That Republicans are already hard at work at Elizabeth City State University checks two boxes on the GOP to-do list -- it targets students and African Americans since the school is a historically black college.
Remember, the use of student IDs for voting came up quite a bit during the legislative debate on the new voter-suppression law. State Sen. Tom Apodaca (R), the bill's chief sponsor, argued that college IDs "could be manipulated" and must therefore be excluded.
Did Apodaca have any evidence of anyone, anywhere ever using a manipulated student ID to commit voter fraud? No. Did Apodaca show that college IDs are more prone to manipulation than other forms of identification? No.
But the provision was included anyway. And now that it's part of the law, the GOP is already hard at work.
The panel on Fox in the segment above was going after Hillary Clinton for her recent remarks on the voter ID laws passed in states like North Carolina, mirroring similar attacks that we've heard from the likes of The National Review's Rich Lowry. Media Matters has more on that here: National Review's Rich Lowry Pushes Voter ID Falsehoods To Attack Hillary Clinton:
National Review editor Rich Lowry launched a deceptive attack on Hillary Clinton for speaking out against voter ID laws that suppress minority voting by pushing falsehoods on the legislation and ignoring the hundreds of thousands of citizens a new voter ID law in North Carolina will reportedly disenfranchise. [...]
In a Politico opinion piece, Lowry criticized comments Clinton made at the American Bar Association in which she noted that the Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down a portion of the Voting Rights Act would lead to disenfranchisement, particularly of minority voters, all in the name of the "phantom epidemic of voter ID fraud." Lowry claimed that Clinton was using the issue to play the "race card" in an attempt to "fire up minority voters by stirring fears of fire hoses and police dogs," and pushed a number of falsehoods related to the new North Carolina legislation to falsely claim it was simply part of "the American mainstream" and "a victimless crime."
Lowry's arguments -- which rely heavily on the discredited research of right-wing voter ID activist Hans von Spakovsky, who has been exposed as resorting to shady tactics like scrubbing his fingerprints off the web and "fudging questions of authorship" in his quest to limit voter participation -- include the claim that North Carolina is simply becoming "one of at least 30 states to adopt a voter ID law" and is therefore "common-sense." In fact, only four states besides North Carolina enforce the "strict photo ID" requirement the state passed, which means a voter cannot cast any ballot without first presenting an ID. In other states, if a voter does not have an ID, they have other options for casting a regular ballot, such as establishing their identity with a paycheck or signature match. The majority of states either have no voter ID law or no photo requirement.
The Brennan Center For Justice noted that strict photo ID laws such as North Carolina's "[offer] no real solution" to the little voter fraud states might experience, such as the two cases of alleged voter impersonation that have been referred by the North Carolina State Board of Elections since 2004: