Republicans argue that voter ID laws are designed to prevent people who are NOT eligible to vote from casting a ballot. But that almost never happens.
In 2007, The New York Times reported on a five-year, nationwide probe of voter fraud conducted by the Justice Department under President George W. Bush. As of late 2006, the Times reported about 120 people had been charged and 86 convicted in that probe.
Most of the cases involved felons or immigrants who may not have known they were ineligible to vote. Otherwise, there was little evidence of widespread, organized fraud.
But even if there was widespread, organized fraud, a law that discourages (and in reality prevents) legally-registered citizens from voting is not the answer. In fact, one could argue that a law that suppresses the vote (like the voter ID law) is itself a form of voter fraud.
That’s certainly the case with a new, Republican-backed voter ID law in Pennsylvania, where 758,939 registered voters who don’t have a Pennsylvania driver’s license or alternative PennDOT identification will not be allowed to vote in November unless they find another acceptable form of identification.
Most of those 758,939 without photo IDs tend to be poor, minority, young and elderly voters – core constituencies of the Democratic Party.
That’s an incredible 9.2 percent of Pennsylvania’s 8.2 million voters. In a close national race, that difference could easily tip the presidency to Mitt Romney!
Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has rebuffed calls to delay voter ID implementation, but did agree to spend a whopping $249,660 to educate voters about it (that’s a lousy 33-cents for every registered voter who does not have PennDOT-issued ID).
And guess who that got that contract?
It went to none other than Bravo Group, a company run by Chris Bravacos, a former executive director of the state’s Republican party and a fundraiser for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. According to the Center For Responsive Politics, Bravacos has thus far bundled $30,305 for Romney’s campaign.
Check out the Bravo ads at the top and bottom of this posting: