Donald Trump claimed, without evidence, that more than three million noncitizens voted against him in 2016. Likewise, Republicans across the country use fears of “voter fraud” — especially the alleged threat of noncitizens voting — to justify a wide range of voter restrictions and ID laws.
But when you look at the facts, if they’re genuinely worried about “common sense” legislation to protect Americans, they should be putting their passionate energies into gun law reforms, pool safety, and anti-insect defenses. Any of these would make more sense than passing laws to counter essentially nonexistent voter fraud threats.
This chart highlights the findings of a Brennan Center study that debunks the notion of widespread illegal noncitizen voting, comparing it with much more common bad things that can happen to Americans:
More Election and voting rights news you might have missed this week…
1. Colorado hops on the anti-gerrymandering train
Another state will let voters decide this November if they want to put into law changes that will overhaul how congressional districts are decided. It may not be perfect, but it will undoubtedly be an improvement over Colorado’s traditionally partisan gerrymandering battles. (Corey Hutchins, Colorado Public Radio)
1. Six smart ways to increase voter participation
My former employer, Center for American Progress, released a report this month detailing six practical steps states can take encourage higher voter participation rates. It's essential reading for anyone serious about encouraging more citizen participation in our elections. Efforts by lawmakers in states like Texas, North Carolina, and Kansas to make it harder to vote in the name of "election integrity" would be more credible if those same politicians also endorsed efforts to boost legal voter turnout. In case they missed it, I've forwarded the report to the leaders of the state legislatures in those states. Yes, I believe in miracles. (Danielle Root & Liz Kennedy, Center for American Progress)
2. Supreme Court nominee Bad Kavanaugh is very, very bad news for voting rights
Ari Berman — the best writer on the issue of voting rights today — doesn't mince words in his breakdown of Kavanaugh and what he could mean for the future of voting rights: "With Judge Kavanaugh on the bench, this will be the most extreme court on civil rights issues since the days of Jim Crow." (Ari Berman, New York Times)
3. North Carolina tries to top Texas in hostility to voters
Slate puts it delicately with this headline: "A Diabolical New Ploy to Suppress Black Voter Turnout." I love my adopted home state of North Carolina, but that said, our state legislature is filled with shameless, antidemocratic weasels. (Rob Arthur, Slate)
4. Speaking of antidemocratic weasels…
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed a new voter restriction law after previously saying he would oppose it. This validates one of my long-held principles: never trust a Sununu.