From an editorial published Wednesday in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Maybe someday, the Republicans howling about voter fraud will come clean and acknowledge what is really going on: It’s a Republican fraud – one designed to discourage Democratic voters from exercising the franchise.
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. None. Yet around the country, Republicans have pushed for heavy-handed measures to combat it.
Voter ID seems like a simple matter to most people. Who doesn’t have a photo ID?
But in poor communities, it’s more common than you might think. If challenged, a voter should be able to prove where he or she lives. But a standard issue ID isn’t necessary for that.
And here’s the thing: Illegal voting is extremely rare.
The Associated Press reports that, try as they might, Republican officials in battleground states have turned up only a few illegal voters.
The AP says that searches by Republicans in Colorado and Florida have found less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all registered voters in either state were illegal.
Nonetheless, Republican officials in Wisconsin (notably Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen) and elsewhere are using the issue to make political hay.
In Colorado, for example, the secretary of state claims there are “real vulnerabilities in the system.”
Yet his earlier estimates of 11,805 noncitizens on the rolls have shrunk to 141. Of those 141, only 35 have ever voted. And according to the Denver clerk and recorder’s office, which did its own checks, the number might be even smaller than that.
That’s some crisis.
The rest of us shouldn’t let the party get away with this deception.