In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act, Republican state lawmakers have intensified the “war on voting” to new heights, with sweeping new restrictions proposed to prevent some Americans from participating in elections. For GOP officials, there’s a familiar defense: such restrictions are necessary to prevent voter fraud.
The problem with the argument is three-fold. First, in the real world, voter fraud is a mirage. Second, some of the pending Republican proposals have literally nothing to do with their ostensible goal (what does eliminating Sunday voting have to do with deterring fraud?).
And finally, whenever Republicans think they’ve finally uncovered genuine fraud, they’re invariably left holding a big bag of nothing.
No one intentionally cast a ballot in South Carolina using the names of dead people in recent elections, despite allegations to the contrary, according to a State Law Enforcement Division report obtained Friday by The Associated Press.
Attorney General Alan Wilson asked the agency to investigate last year after the Department of Motor Vehicles determined in early 2012 that more than 900 people listed as deceased also had voted in recent years.
Wilson referred the information to state police, saying that the number of people cited in the analysis “is an alarming number and clearly necessitates an investigation into criminal activity.”
Keep in mind, as Matt Gertz noted this week, when South Carolina’s “dead voter” claims first surfaced, Fox News treated this as a major development and clear proof that the scourge of fraud is not only real, but also in desperate need of legal remedies.
But the claims have now been completely discredited (a detail Fox has neglected to mention since the news broke a few days ago).
So, with no evidence of voter fraud in the state, there’s clearly no need for South Carolina Republicans to move forward with new voting restrictions, right? Well, you might think so, but as of now, the Palmetto State’s GOP is eagerly moving forward on solving a non-existent problem by approving, among other things, a voter-ID law.