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Letter: GOP is doing its best to disenfranchise voters

GOP is doing its best to disenfranchise voters

President Trump continues to claim that widespread voter fraud is the reason he lost the popular vote in the 2016 election, although he cannot provide any evidence. Recently Trump issued an executive order to create an Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. His choice of Chris Kobach as vice-chairman of the commission tells us all we need to know about its mission. As Kansas Secretary of State, Kobach has aggressively prevented citizens from voting, generally targeting those likely to vote Democratic. A Kansas court ruled that nearly 18,000 Kansans were erroneously disenfranchised.

Republicans have been beating the voter fraud drum for many years. Their favorite solution to this non-problem is voter ID. Numerous investigations, including one conducted by the George W. Bush Department of Justice, have shown that the kind of fraud targeted by voter ID laws is extremely rare. Another scheme to prevent voters from voting is purging polls using unreliable databases, without researching to remove false matches. The 2013 Supreme Court decision to weaken the Voting Rights Act has freed states to carry out redistricting and other schemes including random closing and relocating of polling places, particularly in minority neighborhoods. Even where these efforts have been stayed by the courts, the resulting confusion has led many voters to stay home.

Too many citizens are being unjustly denied their basic right to vote. They can call it whatever pretty name they want; this looks less like “election integrity” and more like voter suppression.

Jane G. Lehman


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