You might not think much of Alabama’s recent closures of driver’s license offices in 31 of the state’s 67 counties. You might believe the State’s Republican legislature when they claim budget cuts are to blame for closing nearly half of the State’s licensing offices, too. That is, until you realize that Alabama, a State that passed draconian voter ID laws in 2011 that went into effect last year, carried out the closures in predominantly black counties.
Eight of the ten counties in the State with mostly non-white voters will see closures. And every single county in Alabama where black voters make up more than 75% of registered voters will see their offices closed. That means black voters in those counties — many being amongst the poorest in the State — will need to travel across one or more other counties just to get identification suitable for voting. In a State where 62% of black residents require public transportation, that means voting in 2016 will carry with it a very serious poll tax that many of these American citizens cannot afford.
The sad part is, as some of you hopefully recall, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013 in a 5-4 vote, led by SCOTUS’ conservative jurists. The Voting Rights Act prohibited Alabama and other southern states from doing exactly what Alabama just did. Remember when all of those conservatives tried to claim in 2013 that we didn’t need the Voting Rights Act any longer? Yeah… about that…
Republicans claim voter ID laws exist to thwart voter fraud, which they try to paint as a rampant pandemic wildly, negatively affecting elections throughout the nation and the American way of life itself. There’s just one problem with that theory…
Voter Fraud DOES NOT Exist, and Voter ID Laws Are Pointless
Even the conservative Heritage Foundation, who often rails in favor of voter ID laws, admits that only 300 cases of voter fraud have occurred in the United States between 1948 and 2015. That’s 300 cases in 67 YEARS. Let that sink in, folks. Since 1948, over 146.39 BILLION ballots have been cast, in presidential elections alone. That means only ONE in every 487.9 MILLION ballots is fraudulent. And this is going off a right-wing conservative group’s numbers, which are most likely inflated!
How many of those 300 cases happened in Alabama, you might ask? Ten. That’s right, ten cases, going back to 2000. Ten cases in 15 years. And here’s the kicker: most of Alabama’s cases were carried out by white people supporting Republican candidates.
So Alabama’s insane voter ID laws are trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, while causing problems for countless impoverished, mostly black voters, all in a way that benefits the Republican party, thanks to conservative Supreme Court justices overturning a vital piece of civil rights legislation that would have prohibited all of this to begin with.
Some people on the right like to argue that racism no longer exists. Well, folks, I present you now with exhibit A… The Republican Party.