Following the 2008 presidential election, Republicans were convinced that President Obama could only have been elected as the result of massive voter fraud. They blamed ACORN (which they have since destroyed as the result of a fraudulent video scam) and labor unions (which are under attack by Teapublican-controlled legislatures throughout the country).
Now they have turned their attention to minority voters who overwhelmingly voted for Obama in 2008.
Despite the fact that there have been no proven instances of widespread voter fraud (a US Justice Department investigation in 2007 found only 86 instances of voter fraud nationally), Republican legislatures are pushing bills to require photo IDs.
Republican legislatures in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia have all considered photo ID legislation. Conveniently, these states all happen to be key battlegrounds for the upcoming 2012 presidential election. If the bills are successful, the new laws could have a profound effect on the outcome of the election.
Looking at just one of the key states, North Carolina, as many as 1 million registered voters currently lack a photo ID. African-Americans make up 22 percent of active voters, but are 32 percent of those without a photo ID. And seniors over age 65 are 20 percent of active voters, but are 32 percent of those without a photo ID.
At least three scholarly studies have concluded that Voter ID laws lower voter turnout by throwing up an extra barrier to casting a ballot, particularly among less educated and lower income populations.
As Rev. Al Sharpton recently stated, The current push for photo IDs is not intended to fix a problem, but to fix an election.”