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6 Other Times Republicans Admitted Voting Restrictions Are Just About Disenfranchising Democrats

Memo Pad Politics

6 Other Times Republicans Admitted Voting Restrictions Are Just About Disenfranchising Democrats



“This country has many distinctions as a democracy,” The Nation‘s Ari Berman writes in his new review of Gary May’s Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy. “The saddest is that it is the only advanced democracy ever to disenfranchise, enfranchise and disenfranchise again an entire segment of the population. What should be its most settled right—the right to vote—remains the most contested.”

Since 2010, Republicans, mostly in states that made up the Old Confederacy, have passed a torrent of laws designed to make it harder to vote. The echoes of these new restrictions to the poll taxes and grandfather clauses made illegal by 1965’s Voting Rights Act were obvious to most in America’s civil rights movement. The truth is that though racial animus may fuel the drive for new voting restrictions, the motivation is more partisan than racial. That’s why Texas’ new voter ID law, for instance, makes it harder for not just racial minorities, but also women and students. Hundreds of thousands of Texans will face new burdens on voting for a law that might have stopped four — FOUR — cases of fraud since 2004.

Republicans generally argue that restrictions on registering and voting are about the “integrity” of elections, but have never been able to prove that any American election has been stolen by in-person voter fraud. However, occasionally, a few overly honest Republicans let their true motives slip out.

That’s what happened when Don Yelton, a now-former North Carolina Republican official, spoke to The Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi.

Yelton admitted that North Carolina’s new voting law, which includes a flurry of new provisions including voter ID, is “going to kick Democrats in the butt.” In one interview, he stumbled through every dumb cliché of the modern racist, including referencing his one black friend and showing disdain for “lazy blacks” who want the government to give them everything.

MSNBC’s Adam Serwer points out that Yelton is a fringe figure who has been in and out of North Carolina’s Republican Party for a decade. He’s out again, and attacking his own party after that interview. But Yelton’s cartoonish take on voting restrictions has been echoed by several other very serious Republican officials.

Here are six more Republicans who have admitted that their party is intentionally attempting to disenfranchise Democrats.



  1. The_Kenosha_Kid October 25, 2013

    Good stuff. Though I wish the format was one long page instead of seven little ones.

    1. JD Mulvey October 25, 2013

      They can charge more for seven ad views than for one.

      1. JessFlagg October 27, 2013

        What ads, I don’t see any ads. NoScript seems to work wonders. 🙂

        1. kmkirb October 28, 2013

          Yep, & I also use Ghostery, Ad Block & Ad Block Plus. No ads, no pop ups, nothing. Only problem is many times the little things are missing like 1+, FB, Twitter, etc.

  2. Jason Jermaine Smith October 25, 2013

    Wow, that is out of control. And they wonder why people say the GOP is full of racists and closet racists, lmao.

  3. tdm3624 October 25, 2013

    Instead of early voting as a way to alleviate some of the lines on election day I would rather see more and better staffed voting stations.

    1. Lola Johnson October 26, 2013

      Fewer and poorly staffed voting stations is another method, currently in use in N.C.

    2. Allan Richardson October 26, 2013

      Election day should be an entire 48 hour weekend, from midnight Friday night to midnight Sunday night. This would prevent employers from intentionally keeping their employees too busy to vote. The Tuesday thing is a relic of the rural days of the past: farmers and their families rode into the nearest town once a week on Sunday to go to church, stayed overnight in cheap hotels, and bought supplies from the general store on Monday, then rode back out to the farm. When an election was scheduled, they stayed one more day. I cannot help but imagine that for wage-earning workers in large cities, it may have been more difficult to vote than for farmers, except when they got help from aldermen and ward bosses from their party, since Sunday was their only day off (if they were lucky enough to get that).

      The rest of the democratic world has weekend elections; it’s time for us to join them. Make it a 48 hour “day” and Christians who feel they should not vote on Sunday can vote on Saturday; Jews who feel they should not vote on the Sabbath can vote any time after sunset Saturday, and Muslims worship on Friday anyway. Election returns would be on the Monday morning news.

      1. tdm3624 October 28, 2013

        I like that idea. After performing their civic duty, voters could go to a friends house and watch some football, have a party, etc.

    3. Lisztman November 1, 2013

      It’s not just long lines, tdm. In many instances it has to do with the hours, and Tuesdays. There are many (especially, note, in the poorer classes) who work two jobs on Tuesdays — and their minimum-wage jobs don’t give them sufficient time off — even if it’s only an hour (ignoring, for the moment, long lines) — to go out and vote on Election Day. “Early Voting” is designed in many places to allow such voters the ability to vote on their day off.

      Yes — absentee ballots could resolve that difficulty. I can already see the next round of GOP laws. In order to cast an absentee ballot you must be more than 50 miles from home on Election Day for the entirety of the hours during which the polls are open. If they don’t already do crap like that.

      They (the GOP), in too many cases, can’t win an election fair and square, straight up. So let’s rig the laws to allow them to steal the elections. Of course, once stolen, it gives them yet more individuals in “positions of authority” to dream up and implement still more methods of stealing elections…

      Now if they only pursued the health and well-being of Americans, all Americans, with such focus, think of how much better off we’d all be…

  4. disqus_fsqeoY3FsG October 26, 2013

    Denying someone the right to vote because of the Political Affiliation is just another form of discrimination. Attempts to disenfranchising someone for any reason violates our right to vote and indicates the Republican Party wants to eliminate the 2 party system and create a Republican Regime. Once they accomplish that they can dictate our religious beliefs, our sexual preferences, force women to bear children, force women to stay home and raise the family and home school the children, bring back segregation, eliminate the minimum wage – yes we will be living in the 1920’s.

    1. nirodha October 26, 2013

      Wow! You have just listed a number of the items on the platform of the Koch brothers. I guess their father, a co-founder of the John Birch Society, brainwashed his boys pretty thoroughly.

  5. Jim Myers October 26, 2013

    One true test that the Supreme Court will never consider is this.

    Why were the easiest methods of voter fraud overlooked, and no legislation enacted to counter the effects of that practice?

    I am talking about absentee voter registration and the use of absentee votes.

    It is far easier to register a fraudulent name and/or address, then use an absentee ballot, than it is to actually go to the poles and try to cast an illegal vote. And a lot less risky.

    One of the articles I read a while back made the comment that absentee votes are most common among older, mostly white voters.

    I wish I had copied the article so I could give actual quotes, however, I did not.

    But this clearly shows a bias for that type of voter, a large proportion who vote Republican.

    It is also largely ignored by most minorities.

    When someone decides to challenge a voter at the poles, others should challenge any and all voters who are being ignored by those challengers.

    Also, there should be some way of recording the actual number of challenged voters who were actually not registered to vote in that precinct.

    1. JD Mulvey October 26, 2013

      100% vote by mail has worked beautifully in Oregon for more than 10 years. Not only are our participation numbers up, but we have no issues with polling places being closed, people turned away for weird reasons, etc. Read your ballot and pamphlet at your leisure, then drop it in the mail. No one here would go back to the old way.

    2. Allan Richardson October 26, 2013

      With the capability to print an official ballot on demand and scan it into a paper ballot machine, there is no reason that EVERY polling place should not be able to accept a small number of votes for EVERY precinct in the county. Have a computer with all the precinct ballot images stored in it at every polling place, and a scanning machine set up to keep its totals separate from the others. Put a unique bar code or QR code on every ballot identifying the precinct and party. Anyone coming to the wrong precinct can go to a special desk, show ID indicating the correct precinct, and the worker can print out the exact ballot being used in that precinct for that voter’s party. Then put the ballot either in a dedicated scanner and ballot box, or in a ballot box specifically for “remote precinct” voting. Problem solved.

      Of course, that is assuming the officials WANT to solve that problem and not just use it as an excuse to suppress votes. But see my post proposing a new Constitutional Amendment; if it were to be enacted, they WOULD want to solve the wrong precinct problem, VERY much!

    3. Barbara Morgan October 27, 2013

      Don’t know what article you are using for your facts about absentee voters but I do know for a fact in the city I live in absentee voting is done equally by all races and that most older voters if their health will allow them to do so rather go vote at the polling places and visit with other voters they know while waiting in line to vote. There is a way of recording challenged voters that are not registered to vote in a precinct, that number is suppose to be included on all reports about incidents that happen at polling places and turned into the state election commissions or what ever they called in other states.

      1. Jim Myers October 27, 2013

        I live in North Carolina.

        The Tea Party placed the most restrictive set of Voter Restrictions of any State in the Nation.

        Reduced the number of early voting days, reduced the poling locations in Districts that have a high percentage of minority voters, while increasing the poling locations in Districts that have a high percentage of conservative voters.

        Eliminated pre-registration for those citizens who are under 18 years old, eliminated or drastically reduced the availability of College students from using College ID’s and voting from their College location rather than their home of record, eliminated same day registration, eliminated the voting rights of individuals who were born in locations and are old enough that a valid Birth Certificate is not available, and added even more restrictions that are supposedly going to stop the “High Level Of Voter Fraud.”

        Even though there is no evidence to support their claims of voter fraud, despite Federal and State investigations into voter fraud.

        However, the easiest method of perpetrating voter fraud, the Absentee Ballot, is conveniently NOT among the restrictions.

        Those who use Absentee Ballots tend to be Military, (I support Military use of the Absentee Ballots), and older, mostly white, (Read mostly Conservative), voters.

        Any State that really is concerned about voter fraud, and is NOT using it primarily as a means of Voter Restrictions designed to harm their opponents, should welcome enhanced restrictions and scrutiny of Absentee Ballot voting.

        Or, at least have the GUTS to admit why they are placing those restrictions in place.

        1. Lisztman November 1, 2013

          Ah, yes, North Carolina, that bastion of equality and fair play.

  6. Allan Richardson October 26, 2013

    The right to vote for ALL Americans will not be secure until a Consitutional Amendment is passed to include a per-voter, per-election damage claim for illegally denying the vote, even if the illegal denial was caused by accident or just negligence (since many suppression tactics masquerade as administrative incompetence, such as understaffed or underequipped polling places). This Amendment should establish a PROPERTY right in the ability to vote, analogous to the PROPERTY right in one’s own labor that serves as the basis for the 13th Amendment ban on slavery.

    The amendment should explicitly state what is implied in most state laws and in the 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments: any citizen age 18 or over, male or female, any race or religion, with or without property or savings has the right to vote in all elections affecting his or her place of residence (or, at worst, the nearest homeless shelter or other designated address for the homeless), and the right to OWN that vote. And unless a person voluntarily allows registration to lapse, voluntarily fails to ATTEMPT to register, or voluntarily fails to SHOW UP or COMPLETE an absentee ballot, if that person is prevented from voting in one election, he or she is PRIMA FACIE entitled to monetary damages from the state or jurisdiction that prevented the vote, regardless of the method or motive to do so.

    As for verifying that someone IS a citizen, as long as there are some people whose births were not recorded, or whose birth records were lost through no fault of their own (the courthouse fire of 1934, for example), or whose birth records are stored in another state too far away for the person to make a long “road trip” to a state which refuses to send replacement certificates by mail: if they have voted before and there is no reasonable evidence that they are NOT citizens by birth, they should be “grandfathered” or “grandmothered” in as unchallengeable citizens.

    How much compensation? I would propose $100,000 per voter per election, an amount far too large to be the “cost of doing business” for parties that suppress voting intentionally, and large enough to provide an incentive to fix inadequate administrative procedures. If you are Kasich or Perry or Scott and want to suppress Democratic votes (or for that matter, DeBlasio or Cuomo and want to suppress votes for Republicans, which of course has never happened), go ahead and try it, but be prepared to spend a few billion dollars on damage awards, then explain to the voters who voted FOR you why your state budget went flat (it may help a bit that all those poor would-be voters who got damage awards will not need Medicaid or TANF or SNAP assistance for a year or two).

    Of course, anyone ACTUALLY trying to cast an illegal ballot SHOULD be prosecuted criminally, and if that ballot cast in another’s name caused that person not to be able to cast a ballot for him/herself, also liable in civil court, personally, for the $100,000 damage award. Does anyone else think this might solve the problem, IF it can get through the amending process?

    1. Jim Myers October 26, 2013

      I like your idea. Well thought out.

    2. kmkirb October 27, 2013

      Hi Allan Richardson,

      I have a friend who’s been working on a Bill of Rights for Voting Equality. Please check out the pledge, sign it, & then go to the provided link in the pledge to sign the Change.org petition if you like what it represents. If you do, I thank you in advance. If you think it needs any changes or alterations, please don’t hesitate to contact Marcia Everett. And please share if you decide to sign the pledge & the petition. We also had one on the WH.gov site, but it expired before we could drum up enough interest. We can always start another though. 🙂

  7. jarradcvh059 October 31, 2013

    my Aunty Mila recently got
    Audi Q5 Hybrid by working parttime from a macbook… here are the findings

  8. Lisztman November 1, 2013

    Given the propensity of residents of North Carolina and similar states to engage in massive fraud on Election Day, it naturally stands to reason that this predilection might not be limited to voting.

    I would propose that the legislatures of “more honest” states (such as MA, MD, NY) view the integrity of NC residents with a jaundiced eye. If NC residents cheat so much at the polls, perhaps they might cheat in sports, as well.

    While I would not bar the Tar Heels, Wolfpack, or Blue Devils from competing at BC or Syracuse — I do believe their teams should have limited access to the sports venue. I think fifteen minutes in a gym is sufficient time to prep for a basketball game; a half-hour is sufficient to suit up for football. The visiting teams from NC should be excluded from the venues at all prior times. This would keep them from engaging in those well-known and widespread practices of bribing officials, hacking the “clock” software, and so on.

    It’s time to crack down on these abuses in the ACC.

  9. jurassicpork January 31, 2014

    Oh, no, not racist at all. You guys start out with a ridiculous hypothesis, that GOP voter obstruction is partisan-based rather than racial, then your six examples prove it really IS about race.

    1. mikeflannigan October 8, 2014

      This story only proves one thing. Democrats LIE.

    2. Snarky Daemon O'Mockery October 16, 2014

      Hail Eris!

      The whole thing is about the GOP obscuring the fact most voter fraud is actually committed by Republicans. Very rarely, do Dems do it, and even then, it’s more often by mistake. Republicans can’t win, if they don’t cheat, but Dems just need to show up. It’s all about numbers, and the Dems have ’em.

      The world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.

  10. mikeflannigan October 8, 2014

    This story is a lie. F off.

  11. mikeflannigan October 8, 2014

    Of course voter ID will kick democrats in the butt. That’s because they commit massive voter fraud. What he said wasn’t racist and this is nothing but Goebbels propaganda. See how Democrats will LIE to protect voter fraud?

  12. Bob October 8, 2014

    Why are they keeping track of Republicans? Why not Democrats – the most consistently racist party in America. The party of Jim Crow, poll taxes, voting tests and slavery.

    1. Snarky Daemon O'Mockery October 16, 2014

      Hail Eris!

      Because that was before the R&D ideological switch? It happened in the mid-’60’s, in the wake of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts. Well, part of it, at least — there was an earlier part of the switch, some 20 years before, because it’s been a gradual change.

      To those who insist that foul language is a sign of a weak vocabulary, FUCK YOU!


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