Appearing on a Now with Alex Wagner segment on voter ID laws today, The Nation magazine's Ari Berman insisted that the push for voter ID laws has been an incredibly recent phenomenon that is most certainly an anti-Obama, anti-Democrat push.
The problem, of course, is that it's simply not true, especially since a baker's dozen of states passed new ID laws prior to the rise of the Tea Party Republicans in state legislatures in the 2010 elections
"You look this has been one of the most significant changes since the 2010 election is the wholesale change in voting laws across the country," Berman [pictured below] complained. "More than a dozen states have changed their voting laws to make it harder for Obama's base to vote," he added, noting changes in early voting laws as well as voter ID as part of the anti-Obama push.
But according to the National Conference of State Legislatures [NCSL], "Voter ID has been a hot topic in state legislatures over the past decade. Since 2001, nearly 1,000 bills have been introduced in a total of 46 states."
Apparently there was a huge anti-Obama push in almost every state in the union back when the president was a mere state senator and a relatively unknown junior U.S. senator from Illinois. Who knew?!
From 2003 through 2010, 13 states passed "major legislation" to either enact new voter ID laws or to tighten up voter ID requirements, according to NCSL. One of those states, New Mexico subsequently "relaxed" its 2005 photo ID law in 2008 to allow "a voter to satisfy the ID requirement by stating his/her name, address as registered, and year of birth."
In 2011, "New voter ID laws passed in Kansas, Mississippi, Rhode Island and Wisconsin," while the states of "Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas tightened existing voter ID laws to require photo ID," NCSL noted. Rhode Island is a liberal Democratic state with a liberal independent governor, an inconvenient truth for liberals. And in the state of Mississippi, well, that was a case of the voters widely approving -- 62 percent -- a state constitutional amendment in favor of voter ID.
This year Virginia passed a tighter voter ID law, New Hampshire overrode their Democratic governor's 2011 veto, and Pennsylvania instituted a new photo ID law. That would bring the total of new ID laws to 24 since 2003, but still, that's half of the new laws having been passed before the rise of Tea Party-influenced state legislatures.