The GOP’s Voter Suppression
Much like it does every four years, the debate on who should be allowed to vote has once again resurfaced. Predictably, the minority vote, youth vote and poor vote are going to be discouraged by Republicans wherever they can get away with it, even as the courts wave red flags and call foul.
Jim Greer, former Chair of the Florida Republican Party, went on Al Sharpton’s show to boldly cast the nearly transparent curtain aside from the ugly face of the Wizard of Florida. In Florida, as in other states, it’s not the Democrats’ imaginations that are creating voter suppression issues; rather, it’s the systemic and predictable way in which Republicans are trying to discourage people likely to vote Democrat. They do this by creating arbitrary and unevenly enforced laws to create confusion and ultimately discourage the other guy’s voters.
After an electoral spanking last cycle that was largely the backlash to neoconservative overreaches in the Bush Jr. years, Republicans were reflecting on how to deal with the surge of new and minority voters. “I sat in on many meetings where it was discussed how to make sure what happened in 2008, when Obama brought out the college-aged voters, the minority voters, never happened again,” said Jim Greer.
Greer talked about how he was invited into many discussions as the head of the GOP in Florida, so he knows where some particularly rotten bodies are buried. There were discussions that early voting was going against Republicans, and so they should shorten it to prevent African American churches from organizing to bring out the vote for early voting. Greer had even given sworn deposition that there were discussions on suppression, but never once in his 3 1/2 years as GOP Chair of Florida had he seen a meeting on voter fraud; he went so far as to call it a “marketing tool of radical Republicans” in state government.
Every bit of evidence is predictably falling into a narrative that these laws are the Republicans doing their best to discourage certain demographics of voters, and not a reaction to a legitimate problem. Some of the laws have been bad enough that the courts have struck them down, with stunning examples of Latino and African American disenfranchisement and voter registration discouragement attempts coming from Florida.