The Voting Rights Act has been defanged, and Texas, Florida and North Carolina and the courts, as CNN put it, opened the floodgates for "a tidal wave of state level restrictions." But that wasn't enough for The Daily Show's John Oliver, who suggested calling it "a volcano of disenfranchisement, a sharknado of voter's suppression." Oliver played a clip from the movie in which a man has his arm bitten off by a shark before another shark lands on his head. "That is literally what the Supreme Court has given states license to do."
Texas could hardly wait two hours before passing restrictive new voting laws and, "in a phrase that is almost never uttered in a flattering context, Florida is also leading the way," Oliver said. But North Carolina's Voter I.D. Bill is the most severe. It would cut the early voter registration period in half, eliminate same-day voter registration and require voters to show government issued IDs. "And it doesn't stop there," Oliver added. "It also places all voting booths on buoys that are only accessible by yacht."
What Oliver really wanted to know was why states feel the need to enact these laws. North Carolina State Senator Phil Berger told reporters that the goal is to make sure people who show up to vote are who they say they are. "Okay, stop there. Because, as I believe it's been established, the problem isn't people showing up and not being who they say they are, it's person. As in one. Singular. One guy, out of four and a half million people who voted in the last election," Oliver said. There was only one documented instance of voter fraud in 2012. "You could have gotten the same result from just passing a bill that said 'Dave can't vote, he knows why.'" This, along with the state's tendency to tack on abortion laws to motorcycle safety and anti-Sharia laws, is why South Carolina is now the least crazy Carolina.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.