MSNBC Freaks Out Over GOP ‘War On Voting’

In recent weeks, MSNBC’s continued attempts to scare its viewers into thinking that their voting rights are in jeopardy have spilled over from the channel itself to the MSNBC.com website. In a November 23 piece, MSNBC national reporter Zachary Roth huffed that, “the Republican party is attempting to alter voting laws in the biggest and most important swing states in the country in hopes of carving out a sweeping electoral advantage for years to come.”

Roth made numerous grandiose statements without actually proving his “war on voting” charge, and even he had to admit that the dire predictions liberals made years ago have not panned out:

This is not what election experts predicted after 2012, when the GOP’s voter suppression attempts backfired. Some laws were blocked by the courts. Still, restrictive legislation did not halt record turnout by black and Latino voters. Non-white voters made up a larger-than-ever share of the electorate last fall, and gave eight in 10 votes to President Obama.

If supposed “GOP’s voter suppression attempts backfired” maybe, just maybe, it's evidence that the hype about voter disenfranchisement was simply that all along. 

In line with MSNBC's M.O. on this meme, Roth relied on the bogeymen that are new voting laws which have yet to go into effect in states with Republican governors: 

One such place the perennial swing state of Ohio, the most important state in the last three presidential elections. As MSNBC reported Tuesday, state Republicans are looking to rush through laws that would cut early and absentee voting, end same-day voter registration, and even reduce the number of voting machines on hand. Together, the laws are a blueprint for longer lines on Election Day. Voting-rights advocates fear a repeat of 2004, when winding lines in predominantly urban areas of the state kept some voters waiting up to 10 hours. Many gave up in frustration.

Again, no one is actually being barred from voting, but Roth wants to scare his readers into thinking that it’s only a matter of time before it starts to happen.  “A separate slew of changes to local election rules—in Texas, Georgia, and Arizona, among other places—were set in motion by the Shelby ruling and threaten to reduce black and Hispanic political power at the ground level” fumed Roth, again citing no evidence that anyone would actually be disenfranchised.

Roth closed his article by pushing liberal talking points without pointing out that most of the legal challenges to new voting laws were simply to delay implementation to give more citizens enough time to obtain correct identification, such as the case in South Carolina:

Of course, Democrats and voting-rights advocates won’t take these changes lying down. As well as ground-level organizing efforts, they’ve already filed suit against the most restrictive laws, and over the next year they’re likely to file several more. Last fall, the courts acted quickly to block several of the worst changes before Election Day. But there’s no guarantee that will happen again. And if it doesn’t, some of these measures could stay in effect through the next election cycle or two, if not beyond. By then, they’ll already have served their purpose.

 MSNBC.com caters to a liberal audience and relies heavily on a sense of victimization to excite the liberal base prior to elections. As the failures of the Obama administration, particularly with ObamaCare, become more and more difficult to deny, look to the folks at MSNBC relying more heavily on demonizing Republicans as we get closer and closer to the crucial 2014 midterm elections. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.