As part of an aggressive Republican “war on voting,” GOP policymakers in much of the country are putting new hurdles between Americans and their election process. The most common — and arguably most odious — are mandatory voter-ID laws, intended to block traditional Democratic constituencies (African Americans, students, the poor, the elderly) from participating in elections.
When defending the voter-suppression tactics, Republican invariably say the measures are necessary to prevent imaginary voter fraud. But it’s interesting to see when those concerns disappear.
While Republicans pushed for tough new voter-identification standards throughout the past year — passing stricter laws in more than a dozen states — the GOP’s Iowa caucusgoers won’t even need to bring a photo ID to the polls on Tuesday.
As blogger Brad Friedman first noted, the Iowa GOP enjoys full control over its caucuses, including determining voter eligibility. Iowa Republican Party spokesman Ryan Gough told The Huffington Post that would-be voters will be checked against rolls of registered Republicans taken from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. Attendees will have to prove their identity and address, but have plenty of options besides a driver’s license or passport.
“If you have, for instance, a student ID and utility bill or a pay stub with your address on it, you’re good to go,” Gough said.
Iowa Republicans will also be allowed to register on the night of the caucuses without any additional form of ID.
Remember, from coast to coast, Republican officials keep insisting (1) same-day registration is a scourge on democracy; (2) student IDs can’t possibly be good enough; and (3) voter IDs are absolutely necessary.
So are we to believe these same Republicans are outraged by the Iowa caucuses and consider the first nominating contest corrupt?