Colin Powell: Republicans should stop push for voter ID laws

“Should we really have gone after reducing the turnout of voters in those places where we thought it would make a difference? The Republican Party should be a party that says, ‘We want everybody to vote,’ and make it easier to vote and give them a reason to vote for the party, [whereas] not to find ways to keep them from voting at all,” Powell said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Powell, who worked under President George W. Bush, continued: “What’s happened in the last few years, is the party has shifted dramatically to the right — that’s perfectly acceptable, but if you stay that far to the right, you’re losing where the country is.”

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • igx

    Why do we have less secure elections than Europe? Seriously.

  • labman57

    Republican legislators have not even attempted to hide their contempt for the democratic process. In true Machiavellian fashion, they have displayed a willingness to take an ideological dump on the fundamental principles of our democracy in order to further their political agenda.

    Since Republicans could not count on the votes from key demographic sectors of the electorate, they opted for a different approach — reduce the number of these citizens who are able to vote.

    And so they strategized (and to some extent, implemented) a three-pronged effort to curtail the ability of minority, student, and elderly voters to participate in the election process:

    1) make it more difficult to “prove” your citizenship via voter ID legislation
    – unlike voting, buying beer or boarding a commercial airliner are not constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

    2) cull the registration database for names deemed to “probably” be fictitious or otherwise fraudulent. (Anyone whose surname ends in “-ez” is most certainly an invalid registrant …)

    3) eliminate or drastically reduce early voting, since poor and elderly voters tend to have a more difficult time getting to the polls on the first Tuesday of November, and urban precincts are more likely to have extremely long lines that require you to stand for hours in line.

    However, the right wingers’ fallacious perception of progressive minority voters as lazy and shiftless parasites on society was part of their undoing — they assumed that if the voting process was made too difficult, then the affected members of the electorate would simply opt out of the process.

    With respect to the voter ID legislation/registered voter purges that have been pushed forth by Republican-controlled state legislatures under the guise of reducing nonexistent “voter fraud”, GOP legislators should simply cut to the chase and proclaim that the only Americans who have a legitimate right to vote are those who are registered members of the Republican Party.