NOTE:  Remember when all of us who don’t think that Donald Trump is the Second Coming were decrying all the states who had passed Voter ID laws to prevent someone from stealing someone else’s identity and voting as that person?   You know, committing voter ID fraud? Remember when we said that there wasn’t a single study that showed voter ID fraud was a major problem?  Recall too that these studies basically said you had a better chance of getting stuck by lightning twice on the same day, in different countries while holding the same umbrella? 

And what was the response from the so-called uber-patriots, alt.right folks, the Tea Baggers and Freedom Caucus guys?  We were stupid.  What was wrong with requiring a photo ID to vote?  That Voter ID fraud was real.  That us liberal scum were just trying to demean conservatives, attempting to cast them as bigoted, racist, dumb assholes who couldn’t read or write. 

Well, Lordy, Lordy, Lookie Here!   

Last month a three-judge Federal appeals panel struck down North Carolina’s Voter ID law.  The panel’s 83-page ruling charged that Republican lawmakers had targeted “African Americans with almost surgical precision.” 

Surgical precision: quite an unequivocal indictment I would say.  North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) filed an emergency petition to the Supreme Court to restore the law, but the 4-4 court declined to take up the case.

But even though us liberals weren’t being fooled that voter impersonation at North Carolina’s polling stations was a HUUUGE problem, we never had any real factual data to support our claim that voter ID laws were racially motivated.  Well, Lordy, Lordy, Lookie Here! – now we do.

See, what right wingers don't seem to realize is that court cases generally require the submission of “stuff” to the court by both sides in a legal dispute, and sure enough, the three Judge Federal panel in a stark overreach by Big Bad Gubment Dictatorial Powers Aligned Against the State of North Carolina, actually demanded and received documents and "stuff" from the NC State Legislature.  "Stuff."  You know, documents, exhibits, real information, facts.  And guess what?  They - the facts - pretty much demolish the State’s claim that their Voter ID Law was enacted to prevent some slug from impersonating someone else and casting an illegal vote or otherwise totally destroying the electoral process.  Nope.  What they revealed was that several state legislators knew very well what they were really up to, the suppression of Black, minority and Democratic voters.

Here’s a few of the e-mails sent to the North Carolina Election Board that the Court reviewed that sort of began the collapse of the Voter ID house of white cards:

“Is there any way to get a breakdown of the 2008 voter turnout, by race (white and black) and type of vote (early and Election Day)?” a staffer for the state’s Republican-controlled legislature asked in January 2012.
“Is there no category for ‘Hispanic’ voter?” a GOP lawmaker asked in March 2013 after requesting a range of data, including how many voters cast ballots outside their precinct.
And in April 2013, a top aide to the Republican House speaker asked for “a breakdown, by race, of those registered voters in your database that do not have a driver’s license number.”
Now as you can see, back in 2013 the focus here is on which counties, cities and towns in North Carolina either have been subjected to voter impersonators or were most likely to be targeted by voter impersonators.  That’s why “race” was so important a factor in the queries to the Election Board because, after all, in order to stitch together an effective Voter ID law to prevent voter impersonation, the race of the potential perpetrators had to be known, since this would be an absolutely vital piece of factual information. Really? Yeah. Right. 

Back in 2013 in lengthy interviews, GOP leaders insisted their law was not racially motivated and their goal was to combat voter fraud. They called their opponents demagogues, who are using the specter of racism to inflame the issue.
The Rev. William Barber II, president of North Carolina’s NAACP chapter, said the policies enacted by the law speak for themselves.
“You didn’t hear about fraud in North Carolina until blacks started voting in large numbers,” said Barber, who has also led a series of large protests against the law. “Then all of a sudden, there’s a problem with how people are voting.”
“People keep asking, ‘When they passed this law, were they racist in their heart?’ It doesn’t matter,” he added. “You look at the heart of their policies. If I tell you this law is going to affect black people more than anyone else, and you still go ahead and do it, you yourself are making clear exactly what you are.”
Longtime Republican consultant Carter Wrenn, a fixture in North Carolina politics, said the GOP’s voter fraud argument is nothing more than an excuse.
“Of course it’s political. Why else would you do it?” he said, explaining that Republicans, like any political party, want to protect their majority. While GOP lawmakers might have passed the law to suppress some voters, Wrenn said, that does not mean it was racist.
“Look, if African Americans voted overwhelmingly Republican, they would have kept early voting right where it was,” Wrenn said. “It wasn’t about discriminating against African Americans. They just ended up in the middle of it because they vote Democrat.”
Barber, though, argued that Republicans are playing with words.
“You can’t expect racists to come right out and sound like racists,” he said. “They’ve substituted the word ‘racial’ with the word ‘political.’
NOTE:  So even Republican operatives acknowledge that the law was designed to do exactly what we liberals believed all along it – and others like it – was designed to achieve:  disenfranchise Democrats.   Problem is, with all the Voter ID laws still in place this year, how will they impact the November election?  Who knows?  But I'm not going to be super surprised if there are miles long lines of folks waiting to vote, if there are clashes at various polling places around the country, and, due to one voting mess or another, we won't find out the final vote for days after November 8th. 2016.

So There You Go!

Hang In There - It Will Be Over Soon.  (Or Just Beginning If The Donald Wins!) 


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