It has been clear for some time that, since their actual policies and practices are so unpopular with key demographics, the GOP strategy for winning elections is to try and reduce voting by likely Democratic voters by enacting strict voter ID laws under the pretext of preventing fraud, a problem that does not exist in any significant way to matter. But yesterday, these measures received two significant setbacks.
Wisconsin’s voter ID case was blocked yesterday by a 6-3 vote in the US Supreme Court (Scalia, Alito, and Thomas being the minority) and a federal district judge in Texas also yesterday threw out that state’s voted ID laws as being blatantly discriminatory and the costs involved in getting the ID were the equivalent of a ‘poll tax’. The Supremes action was made without comment but in the Texas case, there was three-week long trial and the judge issued a ruling. (Note: My son-in-law was part of the legal team on behalf of the plaintiffs that challenged the Texas laws.)
While in-person voter fraud is “extraordinarily rare,” the widespread disenfranchisement of minorities by that law caused “a serious problem in search of a solution” only a federal judge could supply, he said.
[District Judge Nelva Gonzales] Ramos ruled that voters lacking the required identity documents and the means to get them were disproportionately poor or minorities and the cost of acquiring these documents amounted to an unconstitutional poll tax.
Trial evidence showed that more than 600,000 registered Texas voters lost the right to vote at the polls since the law took effect. Ramos said the high number of disenfranchised voters undermined voter confidence in election results, the opposite of what the state intended with the new measures.
Comedian Lewis Black has joined with the ACLU to spread the word about this and he is mad about what he is learning.