Senator Rand Paul is back in the news, reportedly telling a Louisville audience Wednesday, “I don’t think there is objective evidence that we’re precluding African-Americans from voting any longer.”
Correction. @SenRandPaul quote: “I don’t think there is objective evidence that we’re precluding African-Americans from voting any longer.”
— Phillip M. Bailey (@phillipmbailey) August 14, 2013
Paul obviously hasn’t been looking at very much “objective evidence.” According to MIT—no hater of objective evidence, African-Americans and Hispanics waited nearly twice as long to vote on average than white voters. This likely deterred more than 200,000 people from voting in Florida alone, according to another Ohio State University study.
But Rand Paul isn’t just misinformed. His comments come on the heels of a recent North Carolina bill that cuts back on early voting days, which will disproportionally impact African Americans in the state. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 82 bills have already been introduced in 2013 restricting the right to vote in 31 states. Nine of these states have already passed the laws. While the Brennan Center estimates that 11% of voters don’t have ID, those numbers are even higher among people of color and low income voters. More than a million eligible black voters and 500,000 eligible Hispanic voters live more than 10 miles away from an ID-issuing office.
As a member of a party increasingly opposed to scientific evidence, at least Paul acknowledges that our laws should be based on fact. Unfortunately, he hasn’t bothered to read any of them.