The consequences of the GOP’s voting restrictions


Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has heard the complaints about his party’s “war on voting,” and he doesn’t like it. “For centuries our electoral process is based on one person, one vote, and for anyone to politicize the issue reeks of desperation and represents the worst in modern politics,” Priebus said.

Let that quote linger in your mind for a moment. Republicans have imposed a series of new restrictions, blocking Americans’ access to their own democratic process – voter-ID laws, limits on voter-registration drives, closing early-voting windows, creating fewer precincts and longer lines – as part of a not-so-subtle effort to undercut Democratic support.

And if you’re bothered by this, you’re “politicizing” the issue of voting restrictions. Wow.

Tell you what, Mr. Priebus. Why don’t you tell Viviette Applewhite she “reeks of desperation.”

Applewhite, a 93-year-old widow in Pennsylvania, who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil-rights movement, has voted in nearly every election for the last-half century.

She will not, however, be allowed to cast a ballot this year because Pennsylvania Republicans have created a voter-ID law – and after her purse was stolen, Applewhite doesn’t have the proper materials she never needed to vote before. She’s now working with the state ACLU to challenge the state’s voting restrictions.

Remember, as far as the Republican National Committee is concerned, this grandmother is “politicizing” voting by challenging the state’s efforts to stop her from participating in an election.

GOP officials pretend to believe their voting restrictions are necessary to address fraud, which appears to exist solely in their imaginations. Measures like voter-ID laws remain a solution in search of a problem.

The consequences of the GOP's voting restrictions