Cable TV, broadcast TV and just about all newspapers have been covering the voter suppression bills in Georgia. But, Georgia is not alone; Moreover, there have been 253 bills filed that would deal with the nonproblem, according to a Brennan Center report.
These bills have been introduced allegedly to stop voter fraud. However, many reputable studies have shown that there are very few actual voter frauds committed. Millions of votes have been cast, but not many have been fraudulent. There are, to be sure, a few cases where a person was attempting to cast a ballot for a dead person. But, again, we have laws to deal with these incidents, and, again, such voter fraud constitutes a mere trickle when compared with legitimate votes.
It is understandable that the Republican-dominated Georgia legislature would be concerned and why the bills were aimed at nonwhite people. Georgia is changing, and those who want to “keep it as is was” want to make it more difficult for Black people to vote. The votes cast in counties that are composed of a growing percentage of Black voters were responsible for turning the state from red to blue. Most Black votes were for Democratic candidates, and the Republican legislators — rather than espousing issues to appeal to the Republican base and thereby garner more Republican votes and voters — have resorted to making it much more difficult for Black voters to vote.
This is not so with this state. All Republican candidates won easily, including the former president.
Like it or not, Missouri is deeply red, and it doesn’t appear that is likely to change. There are a few bastions of blue, and Boone County is one of them. St. Louis and Kansas City are reliably blue, and that is not about to change. With these few exceptions, this state is deeply red.
So, why is it that there are voter suppression bills that have been introduced in our state Capitol in Jefferson City? Because the House and Senate majorities are Republican and the governor is also, these bills are likely to become law.
Some of the bills, such as House Bill 334, are aimed at ensuring that you are who you say you are and present an ID to prove it. While unneeded and perhaps ill-advised, this bill attempts to do what the Supreme Court ruled could not be done. The bill requires that a government-issued photo is shown, and the bill contains language that is designed to avoid the court ruling.
By the account of the nonpartisan Brennan Center, the Missouri legislature ranks third among the states in introducing voter-suppression bills. Some of the bills are relatively harmless, such as House Bill 324 that requires the presence of at least one electronic voting machine for those who have various disabilities. Others are designed to limit voting, and there are too many to list.
Go to house.mo.gov/LegislationSP.aspx, and in the upper right, there is a provision for doing a search. Enter “Voting,” and a host of bills appear with a summary for each. The Missouri Senate makes things a bit more difficult because it is necessary to go through all bills in order to find the ones about voting. To do this, go to senate.mo.gov.
No doubt, Georgia is first, but we are not far behind. But, unfortunately, most of what happens in Jefferson City stays there. It is time to change that.