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Letter: GOP voter suppression efforts are alive and well

The effort by the GOP to suppress the vote through the use of voter ID laws is well documented. The basic problem with such laws is that there is almost no evidence that voter ID fraud takes place!

Brennan Center for Justice testimony before the U.S. Senate stated, “In-person impersonation fraud is the only type (of fraud) that voter ID laws have the potential to address, but study after study confirms that such fraud is extremely rare.” The evidence is overwhelming, and it makes sense: In-person voter fraud has harsh penalties for almost zero gain.

Voter ID laws are designed to keep honest citizens from exercising their fundamental constitutional right to vote. They are particularly harsh on the elderly, minorities, students and the poor. Big surprise, these are groups that tend to vote Democratic.

The bogus attack on Sen. Martha Fuller Clark is a case in point. Republicans allege that she encouraged voter fraud by putting campaign workers and a relative up at her house who voted during the election and later left. Every one of the cases cited is in fact legal: These are people exercising their constitutionally protected right to vote. Almost all allegations of in-person voter fraud turn out to be incorrect. More to the point, it is common among Republican candidates too to have campaign workers who vote and a short time after the election leave the state. That’s because it is and should be legal.

Fuller Clark is right: The smear campaign against her is sad. It is one more effort by Republicans to create “evidence” of voter fraud where none exists so that the voter suppression they promote in the form of voter ID legislation looks like it has some legitimacy. It doesn’t.

MICHAEL FRANDZEL

Portsmouth

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