Welcome to the return of our war on voting series, a joint project by Meteor Blades and Joan McCarter.
Meteor Blades had the big story in the War on Voting on Monday.
Michael Wines and Manny Fernandez report that former Texas Rep. Pete Gallego, who lost his 2014 mid-term re-election bid by 2,422 votes in the sprawling 23rd Congressional District, has made a change in his campaign this year. As his campaign team canvasses a district geographically bigger than any state east of the Mississippi: “We’re asking people if they have a driver’s license. We’re having those basic conversations about IDs at the front end, right at our first meeting with voters,” Gallego says.
They’re doing so for a simple reason. A study has shown that while few people are actually turned away for not having the proper ID, many do not show up at the polls out of confusion over the law.
Researchers at the Baker Institute and the University of Houston’s Hobby Center for Public Policy asked 400 registered voters in Gallego’s district the reasons they didn’t vote in 2014. Too busy was the main reason given by a quarter of them. Lacking a proper photo ID was the main reason for 5.8 percent, with another 7 percent citing it as one reason. But the researchers found that most of those who said they didn’t vote because they didn’t have the right ID actually did have one. So Gallego’s team is taking a smart approach.
Absolutely as intended, admits Jim DeMint, the president of the conservative Heritage Foundation and former senator from South Carolina. "It's something we’re working on all over the country, because in the states where they do have voter ID laws you’ve seen, actually, elections begin to change towards more conservative candidates,” he said.
Have we made progress in this fight when Republicans have just given up the ghost of "voter fraud," and are flat out admitting they're doing this just to win elections?
Below, you'll find some more briefs detailing what's happened this week in the war on voting.