In case you missed it over the weekend, one of the nation’s sharpest experts on voting and voter suppression efforts, Prof. Richard Hasen of the University of California, Irvine, (click here to see Hasen interviewed on “News and Views”) had an excellent editorial in the New York Times entitled: “Voter Suppression’s New Pretext.”
He cites North Carolina’s now banished GOP official Don Yelton in the article:
“Unlike with race-based discrimination, which, if proved, could violate both the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution, the Supreme Court has refused to recognize a standard for policing even nakedly partisan gerrymandering.
But now, supporters of strict voter-ID, registration and other voting laws are trying to use the same defense they have used to defend gerrymandering. They can claim ostensibly good reasons for their laws: preventing fraud or saving money. As a fallback, they can claim, like Texas, they are engaged in permissible partisan discrimination, not impermissible race discrimination.
But this is specious. First, it is artificial to separate race and party under current political conditions. When Don Yelton, a Republican official in North Carolina, recently told “The Daily Show” that if the state’s strict new voter-ID law ‘hurts a bunch of lazy blacks,’ then ‘so be it,’ it was easy to see old-fashioned Southern racism. But just as significant was Mr. Yelton’s saying that the new law ‘is going to kick the Democrats in the butt.’”
Read the rest of the piece by clicking here.