Worry About Suppressing Votes More Than Buying Them
While there is much hand-wringing about today’s Supreme Court decision on campaign finance, in my view the bigger threat to fair elections is still the concerted attempt to make it harder to vote. With little evidence of electoral fraud, Republicans are now turning to rationales like “uniformity” to justify voter suppression. Jamelle Bouie describes the real rationale:
It’s clear that these laws are driven by partisanship—an effort to manipulate the rules of elections to blunt the impact of demographic change on Republican prospects. It explains why North Carolina Republicans coupled their push for voter ID with an assault on student voting (closing precincts near colleges and universities and blocking students from running for office) which leans Democratic . . .
It should be said that none of this is new. Most Americans are familiar with race-based voter suppression—the poll taxes, literacy tests, and grandfather clauses of Jim Crow—but those are part of a larger history of partisan voter suppression that stretches back to the early 19th century.
If you can’t win elections when everyone votes, try to stop people from voting. It’s a long proud American tradition.