As I keep saying, the entire point of Republican voter ID laws is to make fewer Democrats vote. 2014 and 2016 will remain uphill battles as long as these laws are in place in swing states like Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
Pivotal swing states under Republican control are embracing significant new electoral restrictions on registering and voting that go beyond the voter identification requirements that have caused fierce partisan brawls.
The bills, laws and administrative rules — some of them tried before — shake up fundamental components of state election systems, including the days and times polls are open and the locations where people vote.
Republicans in Ohio and Wisconsin this winter pushed through measures limiting the time polls are open, in particular cutting into weekend voting favored by low-income voters and blacks, who sometimes caravan from churches to polls on the Sunday before election.
Democrats in North Carolina are scrambling to fight back against the nation’s most restrictive voting laws, passed by Republicans there last year. The measures, taken together, sharply reduce the number of early voting days and establish rules that make it more difficult for people to register to vote, cast provisional ballots or, in a few cases, vote absentee.
In all, nine states have passed measures making it harder to vote since the beginning of 2013. Most have to do with voter ID laws. Other states are considering mandating proof of citizenship, like a birth certificate or a passport, after a federal court judge recently upheld such laws passed in Arizona and Kansas. Because many poor people do not have either and because documents can take time and money to obtain, Democrats say the ruling makes it far more difficult for people to register.
There's no other explanation for this other than Republicans want fewer people to be able to vote, period. Higher turnout helps Democrats, as 2008 and 2012 showed. When turnout is low, as in 2010, Republicans win overwhelmingly, if not crushing Democrats completely.
If Republicans can reduce black and Latino turnout by 10% in swing states, they're no longer swing states.
They're red states. And the GOP knows it.