Republicans harp ad naseum about the endless number of voter fraud instances, despite irrefutable evidence that voter fraud is a non-issue. In Florida, my state of residence, there have been a total of 49 cases of voter fraud in the last four years. ”Cases,” not “convictions.” ”Cases” also doesn’t necessarily refer to successful instances of voter fraud; the number 49 could very well refer to fraudulent documentation and registration and a host of other scenarios which don’t actually involve a person illegally voting. In other words, while any instance of voter fraud is troublesome on some level, it is very much a non-issue, one cooked up by Republicans as a grand conspirac to steal the election.
Of course, who do Republicans see as the ones trying to steal elections? Minorities. In Florida, 60% of the people who were marked for disenfranchisement by Rick Scott’s voter purge are Latino. In other States controlled by Republicans, the percentages are just as skewed towards minority groups (blacks, Latinos, etc.). You can guess who these groups tend to vote for: Democrats. Progressives have long suspected that voter purges are used to skew elections in favor of Republican candidates, but Republicans have been pretty good at maintaining the “voter fraud will destroy America” talking point to make proving that suspicion difficult (though not impossible).
That is until now. Mike Turzai, the Pennsylvania House Majority Leader, may be the first Republican to publicly admit that Democrats have been right about voter purges all along. See for yourself:
You heard that right: Mike Turzai says voter purges are going to help Mitt Romney win the state, and, therefore, the election. Surprising? Not really. Voter purges have never made much sense from a factual basis; now we know that some, if not all voter purges are based in ideology, not reality. And if these purges are ideologically driven, then what we’re seeing isn’t the evening out of the voter pool to get rid of fraud, but the theft of the elections by an idea with a false premise.
The damage that these purges do to the electorate will have a lasting impact on the nation. Republicans believe this is for the best, but they haven’t been a party independent of corporate interests in decades (the Democrats aren’t far behind). What purging will do is affect who gets elected, and how our country will be able to move forward. Even if Democrats can stop the purges, it may be too late to change the voter pool for the 2012 election back to what it should be. Obama could still win the election, but much can change between now and November.