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The Myth of Voter Suppression

People ask me for updates on the race. Here it is in a nutshell: Romney’s winning. He’s winning big.

He’s winning the early voting by seven points, even though that was where Obama was supposed to have a huge advantage. He’s up in Ohio. He’s raising boatloads of cash. National polls have had him above fifty percent for over two weeks. And Gallup reports that Republicans will have a 2% advantage at the polls this time as opposed to the 12% advantage the Dems had four years ago – a colossal 14-point swing that will make all the heavily oversampled pro-Democrat polls look pretty foolish. Against the mountain of evidence that Romney’s headed for a landslide victory, you have – wunderkind Nate Silver of the New York Times, who seems increasingly dippy with each passing day.

So now that Romney’s winning, the fight is on to figure out a way to delegitimize his victory. How to do that, you ask? The myth of voter suppression. It’s the Republican-backed voter ID laws that are keeping all good Democrats at home.

Just listen to this party hack:

“Some critics of voter IDs think the government cannot do this job, but Mexico and most poor countries in the world have been able to register and give IDs to almost all their citizens. Surely the United States can do it, too. Free photo IDs would also empower minorities, who are often charged exorbitant fees for cashing checks because they lack proper identification.”

Oh, whoops! That was former President Jimmy Carter, one of the over 70% of voters who support voter ID legislation. My bad. Guess he’s trying to steal thing for Romney, too. Just ask Garry Trudeau, whose Doonesbury character “Marvelous” Mark interviewed a giant bird named Jimmy – as in Jim Crow – last Sunday. Jimmy Crow claims these laws discourage voting among people who are “old! Colored! Kids! Gimps!”

Read for yourself:

And then there’s our old pal Michael Moore, whose latest slice of bile warning of Republican perfidy features very foul language, spoken unexpectedly by very, very old people. Be warned. Heavy vulgarity ahead.

Does anyone think this little piece of offal actually helps the Obama campaign? If so, please explain. It’s lost on me. It strikes me as a colossal embarrassment and a sure sign of desperation from the Left. But what it does demonstrate is that the new narrative is that Mitt will have stolen this election by means of voter suppression.

All this makes for a tantalizing conspiracy theory, but it bears no resemblance to the actual facts.

Consider Georgia, a state with a heavy minority population that enacted voter ID laws in 2005. Since then, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution has reported the following: “Turnout among black and Hispanic voters increased from 2006 to 2010, dramatically outpacing population growth for those groups over the same period.”

The same principle holds in Indiana, which has strict ID requirements and has seen the number of black voters double between 2004 and 2008.

Study after study has demonstrated that such laws do not suppress turnout among the populations that Doonesbury thinks it does. So if Republicans are really trying to use these laws to keep minorities from voting, they aren’t doing a very good job of it.

Critics also maintain that such laws are unnecessary, since voter fraud is rarely prosecuted. But those complaints ring hollow during this election cycle, when a congressman’s son was caught on film orchestrating the impersonation of 100 voters in order to fraudulently alter election results.

Voter fraud is difficult to catch because, in many ways, it’s the perfect crime. Once a ballot is cast, it’s completely untraceable, and it becomes impossible to separate the real votes from the fakes. Voter ID laws are a common sense preventive measure to ensure the integrity of our elections, and they don’t keep anyone from voting.

On this issue, Jimmy Carter is absolutely right. (Goodness gracious, did I really admit that?)

Your Guy Won Again. (And Romney Will Win the Election.)
Pre-Election Spine Update

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