It costs money to stifle the opposition:
20 million—amount in dollars of the potential cost of a comprehensive voter ID program in North Carolina. (“The Facts About Voter ID,” Democracy North Carolina, and the Institute of Southern Studies)
16.9 million—amount in dollars that Missouri officials estimated it would cost for outreach efforts about Voter ID laws to avoid voter confusion and make sure legitimate voters aren’t turned away at the polls. (Ibid)
1 million—amount in dollars this year’s final budget allocates for costs associated with the new proposed voter ID law in North Carolina (“Some of this year’s biggest political stories resolved in the state budget,” WRAL-TV, July 21, 2013)
This is one of the more frustrating issues (for me) in the realm of political debate. There are no good reasons to do this, and many good reasons to not do this, but the propagandists on the right have done their job well on this one. Which I tried to explain here:
Pete, like many of the "issues" that are flogged from the top down by industry-funded orgs like Freedomworks and AFP (not to mention Civitas), the motives and understanding of the people on the ground often differ greatly from those who set these things in motion. I do not doubt you when you say you've never heard anybody mention reasons other than fraud for Voter ID, but that's not evidence that the stifling opposition motive doesn't exist, it's only evidence the red herring can swim.
Taken in the wider context of voter suppression efforts, from gerrymandering to forcing students to travel home to vote so their parents won't be punished via their taxes (very ironic, don't you think?), Voter ID is merely one of several hurdles that are being put in place to accomplish one thing: limiting voter turnout.
If you believe in limiting voter turnout, that our state/country would be better served by a smaller portion of our society making leadership choices, then be a man and admit that. If you don't, then stop trying to justify efforts to restrict voting and instead spend your time trying to convince those voters of the wisdom of conservative ideas.
Of course, this was an exercise in futility. And it was also dangerously close to troll-like behavior, something I will be discussing tomorrow. But it reflects the frustration that many feel from the general public's inability to step back and see the wider picture, the pattern, as it were, of voter suppression efforts under way by the Republican Party.
They can rationalize and score the occasional point when debating each issue on its own, but when the totality of their actions are observed, their ulterior motives become apparent.
With that in mind, instead of just focusing on VoterID at the protest today, there should also be references to efforts to suppress the college vote, the move to do away with early voting and same-day registration, the total cost to taxpayers for implementing VoterID, etc.
It may not make much of a difference, but at least it should erode some of that "no-brainer" assumption that many have about VoterID.