The Advancement Project, a left-wing civil rights advocacy group, is coming out with a new study that claims that 10 million Hispanic voters will be disenfranchised in the upcoming election because of supposedly “discriminatory voting policies” such as “noncitizen voter purges,” “proof of citizenship requirements for voter registration,” and “restrictive” voter ID laws in 23 states.
This is an absurd claim for which there is no evidence whatsoever and simply more propaganda by a radical organization that opposes all efforts to improve the integrity of the election process.
The Advancement Project and other civil rights organizations are upset because states such as Texas and Virginia have obtained access to the Social Security master index of the deceased and are removing dead voters from their registration rolls. Other states, such as Florida and Colorado, are also starting to access Department of Homeland Security (DHS) records—although Florida had to sue the Obama Administration to force access—as well as checking their own DMV records, in order to find noncitizens who have illegally registered and voted.
That is also the kind of “purge” that the Advancement Project objects to, because it claims such measures “disproportionately impact voter registration and participation by Latino citizens.” Well, it is a fact that according to the Pew Hispanic Center, the majority of illegal aliens (and legal noncitizens present in the United States) are Hispanic. So when states remove noncitizens who have committed a felony under federal law by registering to vote, a majority of them may very well be Hispanic. But that is no reason to prevent states from removing all ineligible noncitizens from the registration rolls. Contrary to the Advancement Project’s claim, the only “effect” it will have on the 2012 presidential election is to prevent illegal voters from casting illegitimate ballots.
Groups like the Advancement Project claim that these databases have errors that will lead to individuals being mistakenly removed. It is certainly true that there are no perfect information databases. But the Social Security and DHS databases are the most accurate databases with information on deaths nationwide and on noncitizens present in the United States. (The Supreme Court found in a recent decision that the E-Verify system used by DHS had a 0.03 percent error rate, primarily due to misspelled names.)
There may be a very small percentage of errors caused by mismatches in data comparisons. However, none of these states remove anyone without first sending them written notice, giving each registered voter the time and opportunity to correct the problem. Even if the voter ignores the notice, the voter will still be able to cast a provisional ballot even if his name has been removed from the registration roll. That vote will be counted when the voter makes local election officials aware of any mistake that may have occurred. It makes no sense to say that states should ignore 99.7 percent of the information they get from these databases on ineligible voters because 0.3 percent may be errors—especially when those errors will not prevent anyone from voting.
The Advancement Project claims that new laws that require proof of citizenship are discriminatory and will somehow prevent U.S. citizens from voting. Yet the U.S. Justice Department agreed that the Georgia’s law is not discriminatory under the Voting Rights Act, and the law has now been in effect for two years with no effect on Hispanic voters.
The Advancement Project also claims that new voter ID laws implemented by states such as Kansas, Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia are “discriminatory” and will prevent millions of Hispanics from voting. This is the same organization that, as PJ Media showed in an undercover video, requires a photo ID for entrance to its own office in Washington.
The actual turnout in states like Georgia demonstrates that this claim is also completely false. The official, certified election returns in Georgia show that in 2008—the first year that the state’s voter ID law was in place (it requires a government-issued photo ID)—the turnout of Hispanic voters went up a startling 140 percent over 2004. Similarly, in the 2010 midterm congressional elections, Hispanic turnout went up a dramatic 66.5 percent over the prior midterm election in 2006, when there was no photo ID law in effect. This increase in turnout outpaced the growth of the Hispanic population in Georgia, which the U.S. Census reports grew 96.1 percent from 2000 to 2010.
The claim that this amounts to voter suppression is ridiculous. Voter suppression and voter intimidation are serious violations of the Voting Rights Act (unless you are a member of the New Black Panther Party, at least according to the Justice Department). It happens so rarely that the U.S. Justice Department has had only a handful of cases in the almost 50-year history of the act. Again, there is simply no basis for any claim that there will be mass voter suppression and intimidation in the November election that will affect large numbers of Hispanic (or other voters).
The Advancement Project seems to want the dead and noncitizens to remain registered for the November election. Its latest “report” is just another attempt to use false claims, unsupported projections, and fear mongering to influence the media with a false narrative and intimidate states from doing what they should be doing—maintaining accurate voter registration rolls and doing everything they can to protect the integrity and security of the registration and voting process.