The Boys Who Cried Voter Fraud
The New York Times reports that the Bush Administration modified a report on the 2006 elections, in which experts agreed that there was little evidence of voter fraud. The “edited” version now said there was “debate” on the subject.
This is hardly surprising–it’s been a GOP tactic for years to drum up allegations of voter fraud to depress turnout and deter legitimate voters from being heard in our democratic system. All the evidence affirms that voter fraud simply isn’t a major problem in contemporary America, and that it pales in comparison to the disenfranchising harms done by policies enacted in the name of combatting this mythical fraud. And, lest any current Bush scandal escape the taint of the Attorney Purge, the lack of pursuit of these bogus fraud cases is popping in the firing of at least two US Attorneys (in New Mexico and Oregon). That’s bad enough. But if we’re going to debate this issue, we should be aware too not just of its present, but of its past in America. The use of formally neutral voter suppression tactics was a key element in maintaining White supremacy, and it is this legacy that drives the drafting of their contemporary cousins.