In case you still think that Republicans push voter identification and other suppression laws because they’re worried about voter fraud, take a listen to Nevada’s Republican Assembly Minority Leader explain why he thinks 2014 will be a “great year for Republicans.”
Today’s Think Progress has the clip of Assembly Leader Pat Hickey gloating in a radio interview:
We have some real opportunities in 2014. This is a great year in an off presidential election. …Seemingly, no Democrat on the top of the ticket against Sandoval. No Harry Reid. Probably where we had a million voters turn out in 2012 we’ll have, like, 700,000. A lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in a non-presidential year. It’s a great year for Republicans.
Think Progress’ Ian Millhiser notes:
Though the GOP’s ability to suppress the minority vote is limited in Nevada, where Democrats control both houses of the state legislature, their behavior in other states raises concerns that they are trying to engineer the kind of low turnout that Hickey touts. Voter ID laws, which Republican lawmakers frequently tout as the solution to the virtually non-existent problem of in-person voter fraud, disproportionately affect student and minority voters — both of which are groups that are likely to vote for Democrats. Similarly, in the lead up to the 2012 elections, Republicans pushed reduced early voting, restrictions on voter registration and voter purges, all of which would have also had a disproportionate impact on people of color or low-income voters that tend to oppose Republican candidates. Indeed, one Florida Republican admitted that his party targeted early voting on the Sunday before Election Day “only because that’s a big day when the black churches organize themselves.”
This is not the first time Addicting Info has found Republicans revealing – despite their party’s stated desire to “earn new supporters” among minorities and the young – that their actual game is to prevent those groups from voting at all or to nullify the impact of their votes. Their tactics are especially concerning given the number of states that have enacted voter ID laws, e.g., and, of course, the recent Supreme Court’s decision gutting the Voting Rights Act.
In his excellent post about the Supreme Court’s Voting Rights ruling, AI’s Justin “Filthy Liberal Scum” Rosario noted several ways the right’s efforts can and probably will be turned against them. One such way is to make sure Americans understand what a big effing deal it is. Rosario wrote:
Liberals must make a huge deal about every newly enacted voter restriction scheme of the right. All of them. We must paint a vivid picture of the concerted effort Republicans will be making to block Blacks, Latinos, students and the elderly from voting.
To that I’d add that liberals must also throw a huge spotlight every time a Republican lets slip how tightly the party’s electoral strategy is entwined with these purportedly non-partisan efforts.
And, of course, everyone should get out and vote these anti-democratic policy makers out of office.
Hear it for yourself here: