The Fraud of 'Voter Fraud,' Cont.

More

Yesterday, we got a bit muddled in the voter fraud thread. I allowed some conflation between voter ID laws and voter photo ID laws. It's important that we understand the difference.  


The majority of states in the country require some form of identification for voting. But what qualifies as identification ranges from Virginia, where you can vote with a social security card to Tennessee where you can vote with a social security card and a utility bill to South Carolina which is about the business of requiring a state issued photo ID.


In terms of voter ID, Eric Holder's beef is clearly with the latter

Since January, more than a dozen states have advanced new voting measures. Some of these new laws are currently under review by the Justice Department, based on our obligations under the Voting Rights Act. Texas and South Carolina, for example, have enacted laws establishing new photo identification requirements that we're reviewing. We're also examining a number of changes that Florida has made to its electoral process, including changes to the procedures governing third-party voter registration organizations, as well as changes to early voting procedures, including the number of days in the early voting period.

We can debate the efficacy of voter ID laws. But in terms of the present business, it's important to understand that we are talking about the implementation of the most radical voting ID laws in the country. It's also important to understand that they are being implemented in states with lengthy histories of disenfranchisement, where "voter fraud" has always been a decidedly one-sided crime.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

From This Author

Just In