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Ari Berman: Voter ID laws ‘could throw the election’

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Ari Berman, who covers voting rights for The Nation and Rolling Stone magazines, said Monday that voter ID laws in Texas and other states could help Republicans win the presidency in 2012.

“It could throw the election,” he told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. “As you mentioned earlier in your introduction, the states that have passed restrictive voting laws account for 214 electoral votes, nearly 80 percent of what is needed. We’re talking about very, very significant swing votes—swing states, like Pennsylvania, like Florida, like Wisconsin.”

Republicans in state legislatures have pushed for more restrictive voting laws to combat alleged voter fraud. But Democrats claim the new laws are merely an attempt to suppress voter turnout. They note that groups more likely to vote for Democrats — including minorities, the poor and elderly — are less likely to have the proper photo-ID now required to vote in many states.

“What is going on in these states could swing the election in terms of who makes it to the ballot box and then in terms of whether their votes are counted,” Berman added.

“So I’ve always said, since the 2010 election, this has been one of the biggest sleeper issues there is out there, where people weren’t paying enough attention, but it clearly had a major impact. Now people are starting to pay a lot more attention, but the problem is, a lot of these laws are already on the books, or they’re in court, but we don’t know what the outcome will be.”

Watch video, courtesy of Democracy Now, below:

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Dem lawmaker serves notice to Hope Hicks that Trump won’t be able to save her when he grills her during Wednesday’s hearing

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On Saturday, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) gave MSNBC's Alex Witt a brief rundown of what he wants to learn from former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks at her closed-door testimony next week — and warned that if Hicks tries to use executive privilege as a shield, Democrats will not stand for it.

"Let's talk about Hope Hicks," said Witt. "What do you expect to hear from her that she has not already offered in testimony?"

"Here's what's important about Hope Hicks," said Deutch. "She was a key part of the Trump campaign, which is a large part of the report is focused on. She was a key part of the Trump Administration in the early days, and that's the reason that she's a prominent figure in the Mueller report."

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2020 Election

Furious Dem lawmaker blows up on Trump over his Iran war escalation: ‘What the hell did he think was going to happen?’

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On Saturday, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), a 2020 candidate for president, told MSNBC's Alex Witt that the rapidly escalating tensions between the United States and Iran are President Donald Trump's fault — and explained how he would do things differently if he is elected.

"Before we get to the debate, I just want to ask you, if you were the president right now, how would you be addressing the situation with Iran?" asked Witt. "Do you think you would try to de-escalate the tensions and move forward in some fashion? Have you given some thought to that?"

"Of course you want to de-escalate it," said Ryan. "The war in the Middle East at this point, in addition to what's going on in Iraq and Syria and all of the other activity there, would be a disaster."

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2020 Election

Trump’s ‘devastating’ internal polls are a red flag that he’s doomed in 2020: political analyst

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On Saturday, The Nation writer John Nichols told MSNBC that President Donald Trump's new internal polls showing him losing key states are "devastating" — and show why his path to re-election may be slipping out of his grasp.

"I would just emphasize these polls are more than a wake-up call. They're pretty devastating numbers," said Nichols. "We can get excited about a close race in Texas or even some good numbers out of Florida. But remember that for Donald Trump, the key is the Great Lakes states."

"What these internal polls tell us parallels what we're seeing from publicly done polling in those regions," said Nichols. "Two things very significant. Number one, there is an energized Democratic base, more energized, it appears, than 2016. And additionally one subset of this that's a really big deal, major issue for Trump, and that is that in the rural areas where Democrats severely underperformed in 2016, it's what we are seeing in the public polls and I suspect top line numbers from what we're seeing in other places suggest we're seeing rural areas begin to tick back up for Democrats going to that 40 percent number."

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