260,000 people could be disenfranchised

Ari Berman in The Nation:

My grandmother Sylvia moved from Brooklyn to Iowa when she was 89 years old. It was a culture shock, to say the least. When my mom took her to vote, she complained of the candidates, “There isn’t anybody who’s Jewish!”

I thought of my grandmother, who passed away in 2005 at 99, when the Iowa Legislature passed a strict voter-ID law today. She didn’t have a driver’s license because she never drove (she’d frequently walk two miles from her apartment to the grocery store). Her passport expired long ago. She never had a US birth certificate because she was born in Poland and fled the Holocaust. She used her Medicare card as identification. She didn’t possess any of the forms of government-issued photo identification that Iowa will soon require to vote.

The ACLU of Iowa reports that 11 percent of eligible Iowa voters—260,000 people—don’t have a driver’s license or non-operator ID, according to the US Census and the Iowa Department of Transportation, and could be disenfranchised by the bill. My grandmother, if she were still alive today, would have been one of them.

But maybe they have to because Iowa is full of people who vote eight times using aliases? Nope.

There were only 10 alleged cases of fraud out of 1.6 million votes cast in 2016 and no cases of voter impersonation that a voter-ID law might’ve stopped. The only conviction was a Trump supporter who voted twice because she thought the election was rigged and her first vote wouldn’t count.

But Iowa Republicans are justifying the move by saying there’s a perception that there’s a lot of voter fraud. That’s super fascinating, because where does the perception come from? Republicans who keep shouting about it!

The fact that Republicans are pointing to the mere “perception” of fraud as a reason to disenfranchise thousands of voters shows why Trump’s baseless assertions that millions are voting illegally is so damaging.

There will be more of these.

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