To understand the cruel calculus of voter ID laws, voter purges and other election law mutations one political party has turned into an obsession (second only to their fever for passing laws designed to corner women into giving birth) you have to understand what these laws would actually prevent, if they worked as advertised.
Imagine legions of people turning up at polling places pretending to be someone else. Voter John is really disqualified Juan or Keyshaun.
And why would Juan/Keyshaun be disqualified? Maybe he’s an ex-felon, which in some former Confederate states means you lose your civil rights, permanently. Or maybe he’s?.?.?.?an illegal immigrant! Or maybe his name sounds similar to a felon or undocumented immigrant, which somehow is almost exactly the same thing .?.?.
And so, our Juan/Keyshaun signs the identity affidavit as John under pain of prison and a $10,000 fine, and casts exactly one ballot. Fraudy mission accomplished!
But since one ballot won’t swing even a Florida election, our scenario has to play out hundreds, or thousands, even tens of thousands of times. And if we delve deeper into the darkest recesses of the conservative imagination, Juan/Keyshaun isn’t acting alone. He’s fraud-voting at the behest of nefarious union “thugs” — who may even be paying him, using George Soros’ so-much-more-evil-than Koch-brothers’ money.
So now, we need to believe that our union thugs (who are also Saul Alinsky radical Islamists — hey, this is a conservative imagination we’re borrowing?.?.?.?) are willing to spend, what? $20, $50, even $100 per faker in order to swing a statewide election. Rather than maximizing their resources buying television and radio ads, sending direct mail or just registering more voters — our conspirators pay tens of thousands of people to risk jail time and fines of up to 100 times the bounty paid to Juan/Keyshaun to cast a single vote.
Read more at the Miami Herald.