AP Attributes Ill Intent to Republicans Passing New Va. Voter ID Law
We've come to expect this sort of thing from MSNBC, but the Associated Press should be ashamed of itself. In a story about Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) signing into law a new voter ID law requiring a photo ID to vote-- which may be provided free-of-charge to indigent Virginians, by the way -- the AP strongly suggested the bill is an attempt by Virginia Republicans to prevent a Democratic presidential candidate from winning the state in 2016.
"Republican majorities in the Virginia House and Senate pushed the bill to passage one year after a more modest GOP-sponsored voter identification law failed to prevent President Barack Obama from winning Virginia for the second presidential election in a row and a Democratic U.S. Senate victory," the AP noted in the fourth paragraph of their March 27 story. As you can see in the full story pasted below, this was in the context of hyping a liberal Democrat's charge that requiring voter ID is akin to Jim Crow-era disenfranchisement efforts (story accessed via FoxNews.com, emphases mine):
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RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Bob McDonnell has signed legislation into law that will require voters to carry photo identification with them to the polls, starting next year in Virginia.
Virginia joins four other states that have strict photo ID requirements in place for elections, an action Democrats decried as a Jim Crow-era tactic to suppress the votes of the elderly, minorities and the underprivileged.
"This is merely a continuation of attempts by Republicans to suppress the vote of individuals who are not likely to support their right-wing agenda. I guess it's true that if you can't win elections the right way, cheat," said Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton and chairman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.
Republican majorities in the Virginia House and Senate pushed the bill to passage one year after a more modest GOP-sponsored voter identification law failed to prevent President Barack Obama from winning Virginia for the second presidential election in a row and a Democratic U.S. Senate victory.
Republicans who backed the measure say the bill is a necessity to prevent voter fraud and point to the ease of fabricating some forms of acceptable voter ID using widely available computer equipment and software.
The legislation provides for a free valid ID with the bearer's photo to any registered voter who lacks one.
Along with signing the legislation, McDonnell issued an executive order directing the State Board of Elections to implement a public education program to tell voters about the new requirement before the 2014 congressional and U.S. Senate elections.
Other states with strict photo ID requirements are Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and Kansas. Mississippi, Texas, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have passed similar measures, but they have not taken effect either because of adverse court rulings or pending Justice Department approval.
Of course, last November, President Obama won Hawaii, Florida, Michigan, and New Hampshire, four states with photo ID requirements. Mr. Obama also won handily in states like Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Ohio and Colorado, all of which require ID, but not necessarily a photo identification. In 2008, Obama narrowly won Indiana, a "strict" photo ID law state, although he lost the Hoosier State in 2012. What's more, as I noted last year, Illinois, President Obama's home state, requires a photo ID when one shows up to vote via early voting ballot, which the chief executive did.
The bottom line is that voter ID is not an obstacle to a liberal Democrat winning a federal election, much less a presidential candidate.
By why let facts get in the way of presenting Gov. McDonnell and Virginia Republicans in as negative a light as possible, particularly when you can do so by shamelessly and baselessly playing the race card?