Op-Ed: Why book bans and voter suppression go hand in hand
In his March 20 column, which called out the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that controls the GOP’s statehouses, Paul Ryan was referring to the long-standing voter suppression policies of the GOP. The same goes for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who told The Dallas Morning News last week that he wants to bar “big government” groups, including the League of Women Voters, from voter registration drives…
But the fact is, there’s nothing wrong with voter suppression of any kind, and nothing that differentiates Republicans and Democrats on that front.
We’re not talking about illegal voter registration fraud, as with the notorious and much-ballyhooed 2016 case in Minnesota where voters were told to vote only for Democrats or “not a Republican at all.” We’re not talking about eliminating registrations altogether, as in Illinois where a Republican state senator’s wife said she no longer needed ID to vote. We’re not talking about denying certain types of voters from voting on the basis of race or ethnicity, as in Alabama, where the Republican-led state legislature blocked a black woman from voting after she said she had previously voted in person.
That’s simply not an acceptable form of voter suppression for the public good. Nor is voter ID a barrier to voting that needs to be repealed or made easier to overcome. It’s not a “poll tax” that should be abolished, nor should it be treated as a violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Nor is voter suppression of different types. We’re talking about the fact, in Texas alone, that there are 13 different types of voter suppression policies. What’s worse, in Texas the Republican Party of Texas is the party most responsible for those actions.
This is not an exclusive problem that Democrats face in Texas or the United States. Voters in many states, in addition to the Republican Party, have faced their own forms of restriction, sometimes with